Basketball Ireland SuperLeague Cup Quarter Final Weekend
Despite a weekend of tight games, upsets were few and far between in the SuperLeague Cup quarter finals with the heavy hitters advancing a step closer to glory.
The defending champions in both the mens and womens cups won their respective clashes with UL Eagles beating Killester and UL Huskies proving too strong for Singleton SupeValu Brunell.
Elsewhere there were wins for UCD Marian, Bord Gais Neptune and UCC Demons in the mens, while DCU Mercy, Team Montenotte Hotel Cork and WIT Wildcats were victors in the womens.
Speaking after his teams hard fought win over Dublin Inter in Neptune Stadium, Bord Gais Neptune coach Mark Scannell was delighted with the way his charges responded to an early onslaught of three point shooting by the visitors.
We were down by 15 there in the first half. They shot the ball exceptionally well and when they were making six or seven threes it was hard to play with, he said.
Credit our guys though they dug in. We knew this game was not going to be easy and we got ourselves back into it. We had a big run to end the second quarter which left us only four back and that was important.
Neptune continued that good stretch and went on to lead by three at the entering the fourth quarter before eventually winning 85 to 79 on a day when their regular top performer Ian McLoughlin was not at his best.
It meant other guys had to step up and they did. Matie (Rudak), our 17 year old kid, was fantastic. He scored 13 in the game but nine of them must have been in the fourth when we needed them most.
In Limerick, UL Eagles survived a similar early onslaught from the visiting team to defeat old rivals Killester of Dublin. After a high-scoring first half that saw just seven points separating the teams, Eagles turned up the defensive intensity to push out a lead in the third quarter that eventually saw them home to a 20 point win, 94 to 74.
We gave up 41 points in the first half which is way too much but when we turned up the defensive intensity in the third we started getting stops, were able to get out and run and that was the key to the game, said Eagles head coach Mark Keenan.
Eagles can now look forward to another SuperLeague Cup semi-final as they begin to prepare to face UCD Marian who hurdled the tricky challenge of Moycullen in Galway.
Despite being without their top-scoring American centre Pat Sullivan, who was out through injury, Moycullen entered the game full of confidence following a string of good results recently.
UCD Marian played like a determined team however and blitzed the young Galway outfit early to establish a 14 point first half lead.
While Moycullen chipped away steadily as they found their rhythm, some big baskets from Conor Meany when only a single score separated the sides late in the fourth quarter proved the difference as the Dubliners edged out 10 point winners for a finish.
We worked hard all week trying to stop Moycullens pick and roll and we played well defensively today, said Marian head coach Sasa Punosevac after the game.
We knew we had to play smart because the defence against us was very smart, with lots of traps and other looks so we are very very happy to have won here.
There was only one Sunday game up for decision as DCU Saints and UCC Demons battled it out for the last semi-final spot and a matchup with Bord Gais Neptune in the next round.
The main talking point prior to the game was the addition of senior Irish international and 6 foot 11 inch Conor Grace to the Saints lineup after he signed for the club mid-week. The talking point after the game however was very nearly Demons failure to convert crucial free throws, missing eight straight in the dying minutes.
With the game on the line, Ciaran OSullivan showed his class for the Leesiders and nailed six free throws from six to seal the win.
We showed great character. We lost a lead late and when that happens it can take a while to settle yourself again, said Demons head coach Paul Kelleher.
I thought we played the best defence of the season today and it was great team effort, sharing the ball so delighted to be looking forward now to a big January.
Basketball Ireland National Cup Weekend Results
Saturday 8th December 2012
Men's SuperLeague Cup - Quarter Finals
Moycullen 59 (28) (C Nihill 22, S Camps 13, S Tummon 8) UCD Marian 69 (41) (C Meany 23, J Galvin 14, D James 12)
Bord Gais Neptune 85 (41) (D Townes 20, G Walsh 19, M Rudak 13) Dublin Inter79 (45) (A Statkus 21, M Tamusaukas 19, A Dimiciukas 10)
UL Eagles 94 (48) (R Taylor 21, S Kinevane 20, J Killeen 19) Killester 74 (41) (M Westbrooks 17, M Bonaparte 16, P Sullivan 8)
Basketball Ireland Mens Senior National Cup - Quarter Finals
Maree 56 (28) (K Hansberry 17, C OHagan 12, C Crowley 10) St Brendans Tralee 60 (29) (R Leonard 20, M Quirkier 15, R O'Sullivan 7)
Basketball Ireland Mens U-18 National Cup
St Marys 69 (40) (D Jones 27, S O Connor 23, S O Connor 8) St Vincents 83 (35) (C Coombes 23, S Dermody 22, M Neary 10)
Neptune 87 (64) (M Rudzak 23, D Dowling 12, E McCarthy 10) Letterkenny Blaze 64 (40) (C Hickey 15, T Hickey 14, M Curly 13)
Sunday December 9th
Men's SuperLeague Cup - Quarter Finals
DCU Saints 72 (38) (P Glover 19, K Anderson 18, J Donnelly 11) UCC Demons 81 (49) (S Coughlan 21, C O'Sullivan 15, K Walker 14)
Basketball Ireland Mens Senior National Cup - Quarter Finals
St Vincents 55 (29) (A Neary 15, J Kelly 8, J Guilmartin 6) Team Garveys St Marys 73 (31) (D Wall 22, D Griffin 18, A Fitzgerald 11)
Ulster Elks 65 (35) (J Mowers 20, C Johnson 12, C Kucinkas 10) Blue Demons 88 (53) (K Hosford 17, S McCarthy 14, I Perious 12)
Basketball Ireland Mens U-18 National Cup Quarter Finals
Belfast Star 73 (38) (C Quinn 21, A Quinn 17, L Pettigrew 11) Templeogue Azzurri 59 (29) (A Rooney 17, S Flood 17, C McKeon 6)
Kubs 55 (25) (R McCann 15, A McDonnel 10, K O'Hanlon 10) Moycullen 60 (32) (S O'Brien 15, S Candon 15, D Costelloe 12)
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 - 10 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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