Preview: Tajfun v Hibernia

Preview: Tajfun v Hibernia

  • Nov 04,2015
Hibernia Basketball looked more than accomplished in the opening quarters of their FIBA Europe Cup clash with Bakken Bears last week. Then they got mauled.

“That’s what the pros do,” says Hibernia Player Coach Colin O’Reilly. “They continually do the simple things over and over again and make you make the mistakes.” Hibernia eventually lost 96-60, but it wasn’t the only blow out of Round One and they’d hung in long enough to make an impression.

“I respect Hibernia a lot,” said Bakken Bears Head Coach Israel Martin. “They are here because they love this game. They don’t have time to practice while we are working twice a day, three times if we can. I congratulated them after the game because they showed up very well, especially in the first ten minutes.”

It’s not just practice that Hibernia are short on this week. Three of last week’s starting five are unavailable for Round Two due to work commitments, with Kyle Hosford the latest to withdraw from the trip to Slovenia to face Tajfun. Martins Provizors and Kevin Lacey had already been ruled out with Moycullen duo Ronan O’Sullivan and Dylan Cunningham lined up as replacements.   

Tajfun were Premier A Slovenian Basketball League champions in 2014/2015 and are making their maiden appearance this season in both the FIBA Europe Cup and the ABA league for countries of the Adriatic. To fight on two new fronts, they’ve drafted in reinforcements. Sebular Sandi is a shooting guard who scored against Dirk Nowitzki’s Germany when Slovenia claimed seventh place at EuroBasket 2007. He returns to his hometown to join up with the Sebic brothers, a couple of Serbian imports and American three-point specialist Ceola Clark.


Jacob Parker is the other recruit, coming straight from a US college career where he led Stephen F Austin Lumberjacks to the third round of the NCAA tournament. Parker and Clark combined for 34 points in Tajfun’s defeat to ABA League Leaders Cedevita on Sunday. Cedevita’s roster included 2006 NBA draft pick James White.

It’s a world away from the Basketball Ireland Men’s Premier League, but Hibernia players did what they needed to and stood out for their clubs at the weekend. Luke Thompson scored 19 points for Eanna against UL Eagles. Lehmon Colbert and Roy Downey combined for 29 points as C&S UCC Demons went top of the league with a win at home to SSE Airtricity Moycullen.

Lehmon Colbert is the only current full-time basketball player in the squad. It’s his job to be confident. “It’s always fun to go out and compete,” said the American post player. “Most people think we’re only here to participate. I still think we’re going to surprise some people.”

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