Two wins by UL Eagles on Friday and Saturday saw the defending champions soar to the top of the Nivea For Mens SuperLeague table. The weekend also saw wins for Moycullen, Bord Gais Neptune and UCD Marian.
UCC Demons entered the weekend undefeated and atop the Nivea For Mens SuperLeague but were knocked off that perch Saturday night when UL Eagles proved too much for the Cork city club in Limerick.
Speaking after his sides 83 to 72 victory, Eagles head coach Mark Keenan pointed to his teams experience as a major contributing factor to the outcome.
I have to give our guys a lot of credit, we shared the ball great all night and kept our composure when it mattered. A lot of guys came up with big plays throughout.
We were in control for most of the game. They came out very strong at the start of the second half and made a few threes but we never lost our discipline and we also did a great job on their American defensively which kept their scoring low.
The win for Eagles was all the more impressive considering they had just come off a tough encounter with Dublin Inter less than 24 hours earlier on Friday night in Tallaght where most of their key players were forced to play significant minutes.
The Inter game really was a tough game. We had to make sure we didnt get ahead of ourselves and have one eye on the Demons match the next night. It was level at the half but we got a really nice push in the third quarter which was the winning of the game.
The nearest challengers to Demons and Eagles are Bord Gais Neptune who edged closer to breaking into that top two with a win at home against DCU Saints.
Struggling with several injuries, Neptunes head coach Mark Scannell was pleased with the contributions he received from a number of younger plays who are breaking into the squad this season.
Mattie (Mateusz Rudak) came in and gave us some great energy on defence and fellas like Stephen OSullivan and Dylan Lenihan did well.
We played well but didnt start great and the bit of fresh legs and a change-up worked really well for us.
Scannell can also be pleased with the performance of a couple of his more veteran Irish guards, Gary Walsh and Ian McLoughlin, who combined for 33 points in the game, while American centre Darren Townes contributed 20 despite struggling with injury all game.
In Galway, Moycullen completed a fantastic month of November for their young side, winning their third game in four when they easily saw off the challenge of Killester, 79 to 58.
Things are beginning to click for us a little bit, said Moycullen American centre Pat Sullivan, who leads the league in scoring on 25 points per game.
Killester are a great club so any day you beat them by 20 points is one to savour. We attacked well early on and forced them to switch to a zone defence which left our shooters a lot of space and we were able to capitalise on that, said Sullivan.
Despite the loss, Killester managed to regroup in time to defeat UCD Marian in Dublin on Sunday, a win that head coach Darren ONeill was delighted to salvage from the weekend.
Everyone played really well today. Puff Summers probably had his best game of the season but it would be hard to single any one person out, the team as a whole played great. We were a lot better defensively today than we had been which was the big difference from recent games.
Basketball Ireland Weekend Results
Friday, November 23rd
Nivea For Men's SuperLeague
Dublin Inter 55 (31) (M Tamusauskas 16, A Statkus 14, G Trakauskas 6) UL Eagles 73 (31) (R Taylor 19, J Killeen 13, N Campbell 14)
Saturday, November 24th
Nivea For Men's SuperLeague
Moycullen79 (39) (P Sullivan 23, S Camps 13, C Nihill 10) Killester 58 (25) (E Chubb 19, A Casey 12, P Summers 9)
Bord Gais Neptune 88 (38) (D Townes 20, I McLoughlin 20, G Walsh 13) DCU Saints 74 (41) (P Glover 25, K Anderson 14, M Trimmer 13)
UL Eagles 83 (39) (R Taylor 27, J Killeen 17, S Kinevane 15) UCC Demons 72 (27) (S Coughlan 20, N O Reilly 14, S Duggan 14)
Basketball Ireland Men's Division One
Donegal Town 65 (31) (W Timoney 18, P Mchugh 18, R Muldoon 15) Ulster Elks 91 (47) (J Mower 36, M McDonald 15, M Graeves 15)
Templeogue Azzurri 85 (41) (P Taylor 27, A O'Neil 15, L Thompson 11) Team Left Bank Kilkenny 48 (22) (P Brennan 14, J Butler 13, J O'Keefe 7)
Team Garveys St Marys 45 (25) (D Griffin 12 D Wall 8) Blue Demons 68 (39) (K Hosford 18, T OHalloran 17, S McCarthy 15)
Sunday, November 25th
Nivea For Men's SuperLeague
UCD Marian 64 (31) (J Galvin 24, C Meany 9, M Kelly 9) Killester 74 (32) (L Summers 25, A Casey 15, M Westbrooks 11)
Basketball Ireland Men's Division One
Ballon BC 56 (25) (E Kumpys 14, D Tamosauskis 7, M Kraniauskas7) Matt OFlaherty Chemists Titans 93 (46) (P Torigo 22, P Peldzius 16, C McMichael 10)
A slow start from which they never despite several rallies really recovered from caused U.C.C. Blue Demons to lose their unbeaten record last evening away against Limerick Lions.Lions on paper have a distinct advantage which they use effectively in that they have 2 players with N.c.A.A. experience and given Robert Taylor plays either guard or forward with Jason killeen in the post this provides the team with good balance too.The major bugbear for demons early was their lack of co-ordination in terms of ball movement and player movement which up to now had Walker playing at both ends in the post contributing points and rebounds.Had Demons had a slicker pg able to feed Walker in the post things would have not been so easy for Jason Killeen with his work rate and focus allowing him get the better of Walker at least in this particular game.With Lions making their shots and Demons missing theirs despite the "looks" being on a par with Lions Lions opened a 17 to 10 lead with points coming from the perimeter,inside and even fast break points (this scoring balance too meant Demons were stretched defensively to cover everything as Lions capitalised with a good team offence and good decision making).To look deeper too the number of their own Boards Demons gave up with poor blocking out allowed Lions a few almost uncontested put backs, second chance opportunities which with good dicipline were too converted into more points.At the half Lions lead 39 to demons 27 though as I commented on facebook Demons still had the firepower to create problems for Lions and did dragging themselves back to within a few points on the back of excellent perimeter shooting from Ciaran O sullivan and points off the dribble drive from shane Duggan who is improving game on game.Walker too spending all but a couple of minutes of the third quarter on the bench did not contribute to Demon,s cause.For Lions Taylor had a big game with 27 points and although Killeen had 17 he more than matched Taylors contribution with rebounding at both ends consistantly.Scott Kinevane too all in all had a sharper all round game than probably any of the Demons guys (15 points).Lions had too a little more than demons coming off the bench in terms of actual contributions and this too added to their strengths.Walkers lack of scoring one could point to it and say "well where were the points from the import" though in truth he consistantly put himself in good positions and got no ball with Demons relying on O Reilly and Coughlan who this game with Lions defence did not have that extra time luxury to take and make their regular shots even though Coughlan did finish with 20 points and O Reilly on 14.
32-year old Irish ex-international guard Donnie McGrath (193-90kg-84, college: Providence). He is a dual citizen owning also American passport. McGrath played last season at Obradoiro in Spanish Liga Endesa. In 33 games he had 7.7ppg, 1.7rpg and 4.7apg. The previous (14-15) season he played at Krasny Oktyabr in Russian league where in 6 Eurocup games he recorded 11.2ppg, 2.7rpg and 5.3apg. McGrath also played 17 games in VTB United League where he avera... [read more]
Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius (LKL) signed 32-year old Irish ex-international guard Donnie McGrath (193-90kg-84, college: Providence). He is a dual citizen owning also American passport. McGrath played last season at Obradoiro in Spanish Liga Endesa. In 33 games he had 7.7ppg, 1.7rpg and 4.7apg. The previous (14-15) season he played at Krasny Oktyabr in Russian league where in 6 Eurocup games he recorded 11.2ppg, 2.7rpg and 5.3apg. McGrath also played 17 games in VTB United League where he averaged 9.2ppg, 2.6rpg and 4.6apg. The other team he played shortly was Anadolu Efes in Turkish league. In 5 Euroleague games he got 4.0ppg, 1.4rpg and 1.0apg. McGrath also spent pre-season at La ICL Manresa (also in Liga Endesa) that year. He was a member of Irish Senior National Team between 2006 and 2008. McGrath is quite experienced player. He has played also professionally in France (Cholet Basket), Greece (PAOK Thessaloniki, AEK Athens and Egaleo), Italy (Openjobmetis VA, Verona and BancaTercas), Lithuania (Zalgiris) and Russia (Spartak St.Petersburg). McGrath attended Providence College until 2006 and it will be his eleventh (!!!) season as a professional player.
Ian O'Leary agreed terms with Fuenlabrada - 14 days ago
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30-year old American (has also Irish passport) forward Ian O'Leary (201-101kg-86, college: St.Mary's, CA) from Iberostar Tenerife CB Canarias. In 34 Liga Endesa games in Spain he recorded 4.5ppg and 2.7rpg last season. The previous (14-15) season O'Leary played at Gran Canaria where in 26 Liga Endesa games he averaged 4.9ppg and 3.1rpg. He also played 20 games in Eurocup where he had 6.8ppg, 3.0rpg and 1.2apg. A... [read more]
Montakit Fuenlabrada (Liga Endesa) strengthened their roster with addition of 30-year old American (has also Irish passport) forward Ian O'Leary (201-101kg-86, college: St.Mary's, CA) from Iberostar Tenerife CB Canarias. In 34 Liga Endesa games in Spain he recorded 4.5ppg and 2.7rpg last season. The previous (14-15) season O'Leary played at Gran Canaria where in 26 Liga Endesa games he averaged 4.9ppg and 3.1rpg. He also played 20 games in Eurocup where he had 6.8ppg, 3.0rpg and 1.2apg. Among other achievements O'Leary played in the final of WCC Tournament in 2009. He received also Eurobasket.com All-Spanish LEB Silver Forward of the Year award back in 2011. O'Leary has played previously for four other teams: Blancos de Rueda, Palencia Baloncesto, Vigo and Oviedo CB. He attended Saint Mary's College of California until 2009 and it will be his eighth season in pro basketball. The scouts decsribe him following way:
Overlooked somewhat at college but has blossomed in Europe. Strong going to the basket and has good athletic ability. Working on being more consistent outside the 3pt line but provides a real mis match for teams.
A very good athlete he is able to play several positions effectively because of a great mix of size and quickness. Rebounds like a center but runs like a guard. Very effective mid range jumper causes a lot of problems cause he is able to just shoot over top of most defenders. Can handle the ball and has no problem handling pressure and being a release valve for any backcourt. Aggressive offensive mind set makes him lead by example. At college played in a system to showcase NBA Draft choice Patrick Mills, but his performance in Europe will be very different as he will be allowed to show his complete game. Has very long arms and consistently tips and blocks shots from the backside and weak side. A very complete player is capable of playing at very high levels as he continues to develop. Shoots the deep ball quite well and is extending his range which for a player his size will make him deadly.
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