As another weekend jammed packed with games comes to an end, we take a look back to see which clubs emerged victorious as the hype of the cup is put to one side
In the Nivea For Mens SuperLeague, it was northsiders, Killester that pulled off an all-star performance on their home court when they saw off UCC Demons.
The Cork side, who currently sit in second position on the league table, were put to the test by Killester but failed to oversee them. And with Killesters head coach, Tom Doherty, unable to make the game, it was club favourite, Jonathon Grennell that took the reins on the evening.
Speaking after the game Grennell enthused, We needed to win this game to continue our chase of the fourth spot on the league table and we did that well over Demons.
Everyone chipped in for this win but our big guys OBrien and Casey really made a difference for us inside where we needed it. Westbrooks also changed the game for us and stepped up when Bonaparte caught himself in foul trouble.
However, across the Liffey, fellow Dubliners, UCD Marian, did not have as much luck when they came up against Dublin Inter.
Even with the help of their new signing, Thomas Viglianco, UCD, struggled to stay with the ever resilient newcomers as they controlled the tempo from the first jump to the final whistle.
Perhaps still feeling the pain from their cup semi-final defeat, it is unfortunate that the southsiders came so close to a spot in the National Cup finals yet find it difficult to see off a team that they had beaten earlier in the season.
Speaking after the game, Dublin Inter head coach, Irmantas Griksas was very happy with his sides performance, We are getting better each time we play together and this game was no different. Everyone stepped up and all 9 players got into the game.
Griksas reiterated the importance of the team contribution, Everyone is committed to the team which means we are getting better quality practise and that is translating to the higher quality of play we are engaging in.
Our confidence was high, we didnt play static which gave us the freedom on offence to take an early lead.
Meanwhile in Cork, National Cup finalists, Bord Gais Neptune, continued their winning ways when a young Moycullen came to visit them.
Neptune, who just recorded a historic victory over fellow Cork rivals, UCC Demons, displayed another strong performance for their home crowd with a double digit win over the young Galway side.
Head Coach of Bord Gais Neptune, Mark Scannell said, We are happy with the win, it was a good for us to get everyone in off the bench.
To see everyone step up and attack the game from the start is exactly what we want. Everyone contributed in the game. Most importantly everyone left the game with a clean bill of health as we prepare for the National Cup final next weekend.
In Limerick, reigning champions UL Eagles overcame DCU Saints with a comprehensive 20 point victory.
Although the Dubliners recorded a win over the Eagles before Christmas, it was clear the Limerick lads had their eye on the prize entering the game. And after their impressive display over UCD Marian in the cup semi-finals, the Eagles look as though they are returning to form ahead of their National Cup Final next week.
Mark Keenan, UL Eagles head coach spoke after game about his side, It was a comfortable win for us and I am delighted with the defensive effort that the guys brought. At times our offense was good but we need to up our shooting percentages if we want to continue winning big games.
courtesy ....Elaine Caffrey .... www.basketballireland.ie Gary Walsh (186-G-87)
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 - 11 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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