As the final whistle blows in the Nivea For Mens SuperLeague the top four teams look ahead to their Champions Trophy semi-final fixtures next weekend while the rest reflect on the season past.
Entering the weekend, all four top spots where filled however battles were fought around the country as each team looked to finish the season on a high.
In the Nivea For Mens SuperLeague, Bord Gais Neptune added another win to their record which saw them tie with UCC Demons for the second spot on the league table. Neptune overcame a young but resilient Moycullen in Galway on Saturday night on a score-line of 88-81.
Speaking about the game, head coach of Bord Gais Neptune, Mark Scannell said, Im happy with that win we finished strong and everyone got a good run.
We were never really in trouble and maintained control throughout the game. Our younger guys have been playing brilliantly so it was great for them to get so involved in this game too.
We are looking forward to next weekend and entering the game in good form especially as we have finished the season with such a strong record.
Meanwhile UCC Demons fell to DCU Saints 60-58 when they travelled to Glasnevin. The northsiders have enjoyed great success this weekend as they secured a mid-week win over Dublin Inter which allowed them to qualify for the final spot in the Champions Trophy competition.
Head coach of DCU Saints, David Donnelly said, We are delighted with the win but it wasnt a great performance. We were probably too comfortable at the beginning of the game after our win the other night over Dublin Inter.
However, I am proud of the lads at how well they came back and turned it around. Its a good sign that we found a way to win it.
Our match-up against UL Eagles next weekend wont be easy but we are coming into that game off a good run.
Elsewhere, UL Eagles proved why they are League Champions after they oversaw UCD Marian 90-63. The Limerick side where clearly out to prove a point after their loss to UCD back in February.
Under the watchful eye of assistant coach, Mike Hickey, the Limerick lads finished their successful season with a strong win. After the game, Hickey said, We knew coming into the game that we needed to work hard on defence and we did. From that our offensive game took off and we created great plays.
UCD had some key players missing but they still made us work for every basket. Overall it was a great team performance. We know how talented DCU are so we will have a tough week of practice ahead to make sure we are ready and prepared for that battle.
Finally, Killester secured their last win of the season at home in the I.W.A. Clontarf when they took on Dublin Inter and finished 82-76.
Although the result had no significant impact on the league or playoff standings Tom Doherty, head coach of Killester explains the importance of the game for his side.
He said, Tonight we played for pride and I really think we showed the strength and character of the team.
Back in November when the team went through changes and restructuring our season could have either deteriorated or improved. I believe that each of the lads had the desire and want to win and we stuck together.
The win over Dublin Inter was a mental victory. It was a tough and physical game but we had a little bit more in the tank and pulled away to get the win. It was great to finish the season with a win at home in front of our fans.
BASKETBALL IRELAND LATEST RESULTS
Saturday, March 9th
Nivea For Mens SuperLeague
Moycullen: 81 (30) (P. Sullivan 31, C. Nihill 13, P. O'Brien 13) Bord Gais Neptune: 88 (48) (D. Townes 23, I. McLoughlin 19, M. McGinn 17)
Killester: 82 (40) (M. Boneparte 22, A. Casey 10, M. Westbrooks 19) Dublin Inter: 76 (40) (M. Tamusauskas 22, A. Statkus 9, R. Dimiciukas 19)
DCU Saints: 60 (26) (M. Trimmer 20, M. Protvizors 11, E. Donnelly 10) UCC Demons: 58 (33) (Walker 15, C. O Sullivan 15, S Coughlan 13)
UL Eagles: 90 (47) (R. Taylor 24, J. Killeen 23, S. Kinevane 23) UCD Marian: 63 (34) (B. Drumm 16, T. Vigilanco 11, C. Meany 9)
Basketball Irelands Mens Division One Playoffs
Templeogue Azzurri: 79 (39) (P. Taylor 18, I. Gordon 17, L. Thompson 11) Team Garveys St Marys: 63 (31) (A. Fitzgerald 18, J. Teahan 12, D. Griffin 10)
Basketball Ireland's Men's Division One Playoffs
Blue Demons: 74 (35) (K. Hosford 28, T. O'Halloran 14, S. Rodgers 8) Ballon BC: 50 (25) (D. Tamosauskis 11, R. Eidukas 12, M. Rubsiauicus 9)
BASKETBALL IRELAND UPCOMING FIXTURES
Champions Trophy Semi-Finals
Friday, March 15th
Bord Gais Neptune v UCC Demons, Mardyke Arena Cork, 6.45pm
UL Eagles v DCU Saints, Mardyke Arena Cork, 8:45pm
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 - 9 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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