All roads lead to the National Basketball Arena next Wednesday, January 22 for the All Ireland Schools Basketball Senior A Cup Final.
Scoil Chríost Rí will take on Mercy Waterford with tip off at 11am.
The Senior ‘A’ All Ireland is the only title to have eluded the school over the years but they will face stiff opposition in Mercy Waterford.
The players are well used to playing against each other at club level and they are always close affairs.
Indeed, Portlaoise Panthers play Waterford Wildcats two days later in the All Ireland U18 ‘A’ Club Cup Final with many of the same players involved.
Scoil Chríost Rí put themselves into the last six in the All Ireland Senior ‘A’ League Championship after winning the play-off blitz on Friday, January 17.
They had strong wins over Loreto Kilkenny, winning 57-,38 and Our Lady’s Castleblaney on a sscoreline of 62-30.
The Quarter and Semi Finals will be played in the National Arena on Tuesday, February 4.
Elsewhere, the school’s U-15 ‘A’ and U-14 ‘A’ girls were also in action recently at the All Ireland play-offs.
Scoil Chriost Ri Portlaoise U-15 ‘A’ basketball team are through to the All Ireland U-15’A’ Cup Semi Final where they will play Pres Castleisland on Tuesday, March 24 at 12pm.
Should they win, they will play the winner of Gort Galway and Virginia Cavan in the final on the same day.
In the recent Qualifying Tournament hosted in Scoil Chríost Rí, they had strong wins over Gael Colaiste Mhuire AG Cork and Ennis to set up a winner take all final game against Mounthawk Tralee.
In an absorbing game of high quality, the Portlaoise girls just about got over the line by one basket after overtime 45 to 43.
Unfortunately, Pres Castleisland beat the girls in the U-14 ‘A’ Cup Final last year but the performances at the qualifiers from the Laois girls suggest that they will have a real crack at the title in March.
The U-14 ‘A’ Cup team were unfortunate to narrowly lose their first two games in the Qualifying Tournament in Cork against Mhuire AG Cork and Castleisland Community School before registering an emphatic win over Rathmore Kerry in their final game.
They showed that they will be very competitive at these age groups in the coming years and are well set to perform well in the upcoming First and Second Year League Championships.