University of Galway Maree enjoyed a winning start to the new InsureMyVan.ie Men's Superleague basketball season with a solid 91-72 over Griffith College Templeogue.
New recruit, Croation Zvonimir Cutuk, scored three of Galway's first four baskets to set the pacefor a lead they never relinquished at Dublin's National Basketball Arena on Saturday evening.
The 6'10" centre, who has spent five years competing in Croatia and Austria's top divisions, set the tone for his side which collectively suffocated Templeogue, and combined with some slick shooting, they chipped away at their hosts' resolve.
The home fans had little to celebrate apart from the efforts of centre James Gormley and shooting guard Lorcan Murphy, and by the second quarter the Galwegians had extended their lead with summer recruit Rodrigo Gomez in the thick of things. The 6'6" forward, who had signed from CB Clavijo in his native Spain this summer, ended the evening with the highest plus-minus (30 ) on his Galway debut.
A nuisance to guard and active on the boards, he rebounded well and imposed himself physically, while also showing great poise and spatial awareness, and flicking a behind-the-back pass to Paul Freeman for an easy jumper.
In the subsequent play, Zach Light forced a turnover mid court before Eoin Rockall drove through to finish in the paint.
Galway's lead ballooned to double figures as Templeogue's long-distance shooting waned. Guard Jarret Haines, recruited after a successful college career in the US with Wheeling, was another who shone on his debut for Charlie Crowley side. Lorcan Murphy, their captain, led by example and finished with 18 points
This showing is one to build upon before their home opener against Flexachem KCYMS at Kingfisher next week.
University of Galway Maree: Joe Junior Mvuezolo, Jarett Haines, Rodrigo Gomez, Eoin Rockall, Zvonimir Cutuk.Bench: John Burke, Comhghall McCormack, Ben Burke, Zach Light, Matthew Sweeney, Malik Thiam, Paul Freeman.