New signing Marello impresses as Belfast Star endure mixed fortunes in two-game weekend

Belfast Star travelled to Galway and Kerry during a gruelling weekend of action
Belfast Star travelled to Galway and Kerry during a gruelling weekend of action

Belfast Star endured mixed fortunes with a win and a defeat during a tough double-header over the weekend.

Star beat Maree in the first round of the Pat Duffy National Cup in Galway before losing their Super League clash with Killorglin in Kerry.

The Belfast side powered past Maree 90-75 before falling to a 81-79 defeat by Killorglin in a closely contested game.

"I'm very proud of the way the players performed over the weekend" said Star head coach Adrian Fulton.

Ahead of the Maree game, Star were buoyed by the arrival of new signing Ben Marello, who has joined on a short-term deal as cover for injured guard Delaney Blaylock.

Marello made an immediate impact, contributing a game-high 20 points with Liam Pettigrew and DJ Stankovic also producing eye-catching displays.

"Preparations were very difficult with the news that Delaney is out for six weeks," said Fulton.

"Our chairman Bill McCotter and secretary Joanne O'Neill did a fantastic job signing Marello on a short term contract."

After sealing a second-round clash against DBS Eanna, Star faced Killorglin in Kerry on Sunday.

It was a hard-fought game, with the home side maintaining a double figure lead throughout after some impressive scoring from Pranus Skurdauskas and guard Allan Thomas.

Star continued to pressure their hosts as Keelan Cairns netted some big scores down the stretch to close the gap.

"We had a chance to win it at the end but it wasn't to be," said Fulton.

"That type of schedule stacked the odds against us but the lads deserve immense credit for refusing to quit.

"I believe that extra days rest made all the difference for Killorglin but they will win a lot of games at home."

Belfast Star face UCD Marian in the Super League next time out on Saturday at De La Salle College.

Elsewhere in the league, DBS Eanna remained the only unbeaten side in the league while Tralee picked up an impressive win on the road against Dublin's Killester.

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