The weekend just past in Irish basketball saw UL Eagles lift the Nivea For Mens SuperLeague trophy for a second straight season on the same day that ULs womens team, UL Huskies, accepted the Nivea Womens SuperLeague regular season title for the third year running.
Meanwhile there were noteworthy wins for UCD Marian, DCU Saints, Killester and Bord Gais Neptune on the mens side, while Ulster Rockets, Team Montenotte Hotel Cork and WIT Wildcats all notched up victories heading into the womens playoffs.
Nivea For Mens SuperLeague
While their victorious homecoming celebrations may have been tempered by an upstart Bord Gais Neptune, UL Eagles can look back at a memorable weekend that saw the Limerick side capture the 2012/13 Nivea For Men s SuperLeague title.
The defending champions secured one of Irish basketballs most coveted trophies on Friday night with a win over Dublin Inter at the National Basketball Arena.
Having already let one opportunity to win the Nivea For Mens SuperLeague slip through their fingers a week earlier, head coach Mark Keenan was relieved to finally put the title race to bed.
We were all relieved to finally get the job done, said Keenan, who added that the speculation that they might blow the title served as motivation for his squad.
The players read the stuff on the Basketball Ireland website and other places questioning if we were going to blow it and I think that helped focus the minds and gave us a bit of motivation. We were very focused Friday night.
Despite that focus, Eagles trailed early in the game before benefiting from a major surge either side of half time that helped them win the second and third quarters by a combined 17 points.
On a night when their influential centre Jason Killeen led all scorers with 21 points, that push proved crucial as a late Inter comeback fell short with Eagles finishing winners by eight points.
I was never worried that we couldnt get it done. Inter are a good team but when we changed up to zone defence it broke their rhythm, said Keenan of the match.
As the party for Eagles began, Keenan was able to reflect on another season that has ended in a Nivea For Mens SuperLeague title. It is also his second straight back to back achievement having led Killester to the same mark in 2009 and 2010.
This Eagles team is as good as any other team I have coached, lauded Keenan.
We may not play up to our talent as much as wed like to but when we do, we are as good as any team that I have been with.
Neptune obviously did not get the message that Saturday was to be a Limerick celebration however and led by an inspired Mike McGinn, they toppled the champs on their home court 77 to 81.
Despite admitting that Eagles possibly didnt have much left in the tank after Friday, Neptune head coach Mark Scannell was still delighted with the result.
We needed this heading into [the Champions Trophy]. We had lost three in a row and that wasnt like us.
We have had a bad stretch since winning the cup and we know we cant just turn the tap on and off when we want. We have another tough one to finish the regular season in Galway against Moycullen coming up and we need that to get us ready.
While Neptunes place in the Champions Trophy is guaranteed after their cup triumph in January, several teams are scrapping for fourth and the final spot in the tournament.
Two of those teams are Killester and Moycullen, who met in Clontarf Saturday night, with the Dubliners getting the best of a physical affair.
Our depth was probably a key factor in the end, remarked Killester head coach Tom Doherty as he digested his teams 10 points win that leaves them right in the hunt for fourth.
We arent thinking about who needs to win or lose for us to go through. Leading up to this one we were totally just focused on we have two games left, lets win those and if we get through then great.
Whether they are focused on it or not however, Killester will need DCU Saints to drop a game if they are to advance. Saints showed no signs of letting up however when they toppled UCC Demons in Cork on Sunday afternoon, winning 73 to 80.
The result means that Saints now need just one win from their two games this coming weekend to wrap up fourth. They play Dublin Inter on Thursday before a rematch with Demons again on Saturday.
Elsewhere, UCD Marian continued their red-hot streak to record their fourth win in a row as they took down Dublin Inter 83 88 in the famed Oblate Hall in Inchicore. While the run comes too late for them to challenge for a place in the Champions Trophy, the south side Dublin club have shown why they were ranked so highly prior to the season.
Basketball Ireland Weekend Results
Friday March 1st
Nivea For Mens SuperLeague
Dublin Inter 64 (28) (J Killeen 21, S Kinevane 15, R Talyor 13) UL Eagles 72 (36) (M Tamusauskas 18, M Cepliauskas 14, A Statkus 13)
Saturday March 2nd
Nivea For Mens SuperLeague
Dublin Inter 83 (52) (A Statkus 23, L Jonaitis 14, M Tamusauskas 13) UCD Marian 88 (43) ( D James 27, T Viglianco 17, K Foley 9)
UL Eagles 77 (36) (R Taylor 26, J Killeen 19, S Kinevane 13) Bord Gais Neptune 81 (33) (M McGinn 26, G Noonan 18, D Townes 17)
Killester 77 (38) (M Westbrooks 19, A Casey 15, M Bonaparte 14) Moycullen 67 (39) (P Sullivan 30, N Cunningham 10, S Camps 6)
Basketball Ireland Mens Division One
Donegal Town 67 (31) (W Timoney 18, R Muldoon 15, D Muldoon 11) Fr Mathews 70 (33) (E O Callaghan 18, D Fleming 18, P O Driscoll 17)
Team Garveys St Marys 65 (37) (D Wall 17, D Griffin 14, A Fitzgerald 9) Templeogue Azzurri 68 (41) (L Thompson 18, I Gordon 16, P Taylor 14)
Maree 69 (36) (K Hansberry 15, T Mitkus 10, P Burke 8) Matt OFlaherty Chemist Titans 78 (40) (A Tongo 32, G Sedebeskis 11, C McMichael 8)
Sunday March 3rd
Nivea For Mens SuperLeague
UCC Demons 73 (39) (K Walker 20, N Murphy 16, S Coughlan 10) DCU Saints 80 (47) (M Trimmer 15, P Glover 12, M Chubb 11)
Basketball Ireland Mens Division One
Blue Demons 73 (40) (S McCarthy 16, K Hosford 14, C Anon 10) Team Left Bank Kilkenny 50 (31) (J OKeefe 13, P Brennan 11, J Butler 10)
Ulster Elks 108 (49) (J Mower 35, M Graves 28, A Hickey 16) Ballon BC 61 (33) (R Eidukas 19, B Valkuls 16, M Rubstavicius 7)
Aer Lingus provides special airfares for guests attending the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic Mar 3, 2017, 12:00 PM | VICTORY SCHOLARS Jericho, New York, March 3, 2017 -- Aer Lingus, Irelands only 4 Star airline, has today announced special airfares for those traveling to the Emerald Isle for The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic, a college basketball tournament held in conjunction with the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Sport Chang... [read more]
Aer Lingus provides special airfares for guests attending the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic Mar 3, 2017, 12:00 PM | VICTORY SCHOLARS
Jericho, New York, March 3, 2017 -- Aer Lingus, Irelands only 4 Star airline, has today announced special airfares for those traveling to the Emerald Isle for The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic, a college basketball tournament held in conjunction with the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Sport Changes Life, Rory McIllroys Foundation, the Rory Foundation, and The SSE Arena, Belfast. The tournament, which will take place on December 1st and 2nd, will feature Holy Cross vs. Manhattan College and La Salle University vs. Towson University. As the official airline of the Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic, it's our privilege to not only fly the teams to the tournament, but also the loyal fans, who will travel across the Atlantic to show their support, said Jack Foley, Aer Lingus Executive Vice President, North America. We look forward to offering guests a warm welcome on board our flights. Special fares are available from across Aer Lingus East Coast transatlantic network of Boston (BOS); Hartford (BDL); New York (JFK and EWR), and Washington D.C. (IAD) for outbound travel to Ireland between November 17 and November 30, and return flights between December 3 and December 10, 2017. Roundtrip fares, inclusive of taxes and fees are as follows: From JFK, EWR, BDL $469* From BOS $479* From IAD $559* These fares are available exclusively through Aer Lingus Emerald Exclusives Desk, which operates Monday through Friday 9:30am 4:30 pm EST. They can be reached via telephone at 1-877-351-6665.
Killorglinhas won Cork Mens Basketball Board Boys U17 Billy Kelly Tournament after defeating Moycullen 53-52 in the final on 15-Apr-2017 in the Parochial Hall, Gurranabraher. Killorglinwere Pool 1 winners after the first day of the tournament. On the second day they defeated Templeogue and Blue Demons on the way to the final. Neptune was stopped byMoycullen at semi-final stage. It was a dramatic end of the final game of an excellent tournament having been down by two points with 10 secondsto play Killorglin tookthe win. From : www.corkbasketball.com
Congratulations toMoycullen BC on winning Boys U16A All Ireland Club Championship in Cork. Moycullen defeated Belfast Star 31-18 in the final game of the Championship on 23d of April 2017 in the Parochial Hall. Pool 3 winners Moycullen defeated Gneeveguilla in the first semi-final while Belfast were victorious over Corks Blue Demons. Blue Demons took the 3rd position in the overall ranking with Ballincollig taking the 5th. Well done to both Corks club. From : www.corkbasketball.com
Cork Celts last evening won The Cork County Basketball Board's Div 1 League Title for the second consecutive season Defeating Ballincollig.
Anthony Thompson (178-PG)
Donaghy the star as Tralee Warriors crowned Men's Champions Trophy champions - 28 days ago
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Kieran Donaghy (198-G/F-83) was the star of the show in Letterkenny today as Tralee swooped home to glory and scooped the silverware in the final of the Basketball Ireland Men's Champions Trophy. It was a thrilling finale in Donegal as Donaghy drove down the court and laid the ball up in style to send another epic battle with Regular Season champions, Templeogue, to overtime (66-66). That last gasp bucket was just one story of many that can be told from today's game, with Jason Killeen (2... [read more]
Kieran Donaghy (198-G/F-83) was the star of the show in Letterkenny today as Tralee swooped home to glory and scooped the silverware in the final of the Basketball Ireland Men's Champions Trophy. It was a thrilling finale in Donegal as Donaghy drove down the court and laid the ball up in style to send another epic battle with Regular Season champions, Templeogue, to overtime (66-66). That last gasp bucket was just one story of many that can be told from today's game, with Jason Killeen (211-C-85, college: Augusta) shining brightest for Templeogue in one of the closest Men's Super League clashes of the year. The story, however, lies with Tralee and the glory of their achievement and it is one that will be told for many years to come. From Donaghy to Trae Pemberton (193-G-92, college: Maryville, MO) - a guard who has dazzled for the Kingdom throughout the season - to Goran Pantovic (208-F-91, college: Drexel), the team worked as a unit throughout and managed to hold on in the dying seconds to add another page to the history books. It was Pemberton who stepped up to the mark with 7.8 seconds on the clock in overtime as they trailed Templeogue 73-70 and as hearts dropped around the court when his first effort did not find the mark, Donaghy was on hand for the offensive rebound to feed Pemberton once more and he made no mistake second time of asking to tie it yet again, 73-73. With double overtime looming, Donaghy had the final say of the game, adding a free throw in the dying seconds and it was with bated breath for all of Kerry as they watched the clock tick down in agonizing fashion. Courtesy of: basketballireland.ie
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