THIS Tuesday marks the 25th anniversary of one of the most gripping, pulsating basketball games witnessed in Killarney when St Paul’s Kerry Spring and arch Kerry rivals Team Garvey’s Tigers from Tralee clashed in a never to be forgotten National League top flight encounter.
The Presentation Gym was packed to overflowing for the occasion on 29 December 1995 and the capacity crowd was treated to a veritable feast of top class sporting action which required three periods of overtime to settle the outcome.
As it transpired, Tralee triumphed on a 105-103 scoreline despite the fact that the star-studded St Paul’s led 42-29 at one stage and enjoyed a 44-35 interval advantage.
The sides were locked on 80 points each at the close of normal time, with Corey Jackson missing from the throw line on the buzzer after being set up brilliantly by Pat O’Shea.
It was 88 each after the first period of overtime and 95-all after the second and Tigers went on to win the game and to clinch the league title that season.
St Paul’s, coached by Joe Coughlan, had a fine side that year with Americans Greg Ford and Corey Jackson joined by point guard Pat O’Shea, Vince Daly, Brian Clarke, Cormac and Caoimhín O’Donoghue, Niall O’Callaghan and James Fleming awhile Tigers, coached by Timmy McCarthy, had players of the calibre of Ricardo Leonard, John Teahan, American Nigel Palmer, Vinnie Murphy, Kieran O’Sullivan and Maurice Casey.
Top scorer on the night was Nigel Palmer on 37 points with Greg Ford on 33, Corey Jackson on 22, John Teahan on 22, Ricardo Leonard on 21 and Vince Daly on 18.
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