Mary McGuire gives a review of the weekend's basketball events, which saw UCC gain a huge win over NUIG.
Ambassador UCC Glanmire have added yet more silverware to their already overflowing collection this weekend, as their 92-49 point win over NUIG Mystics was enough to see them through to be crowned Basketball Ireland Women’s Super League Regular Season champions 2016/17.
The Cork team put on a superb display of skill and flair at their home court yesterday, with Grainne Dwyer top-scoring for her side on 24 points and Claire Rockall and Aine McKenna chipping in for 16 and 10 points respectively. Indeed, the result never looked in any doubt from early on, as Mark Scannell’s charges drove into a 53-29 point lead at half time and cheers echoed around the court as captain Aine McKenna received the title from President of Basketball Ireland, Theresa Walsh.
"We're very pleased, it's nice to get it - we didn't win it for a while now, we've won the play offs but not the regular season so it's great to get it," said Head Coach Mark Scannell. "It just shows that our consistency throughout the season has been very good, with just two losses with one game to go, so it's a very good return, all things considered. We lost a few players at the start of the year, there was a bit of a changing of the guard, so it's great for the younger players that we have continued to win and I really think the future is bright for us. We're not going to get too carried away with it though, we need to get our heads down. We're very much focused and on track for the play offs in a few weeks' time."
Elsewhere, Courtyard Liffey Celtics continued their recent winning streak with a big win on the road on Saturday evening as they overcame Maxol WIT Wildcats down in Waterford, 51-64. Portlaoise Panthers bounced back well from their loss last weekend against Liffey Celtics to overcome Singleton SuperValu Brunell 66-58, while DCU Mercy had the better of Pyrobel Killester in the IWA in Clontarf, winning out 51-64 in the end.
It was a big weekend for Garvey’s Tralee Warriors in the Men’s Super League meanwhile, as they overcame second place Griffith Swords Thunder 68-61 in front of a capacity crowd at the Tralee Sports Complex. Tralee took the lead early on and drove into a 10-point lead by half-time, 39-29, with Trae Pemberton and Goran Pantovic proving crucial for the home side - the former finishing the game on 25 points.
Commercial.ie Éanna secured a vital win over Belfast Star on Friday evening to send them three points clear of KUBS and push them up to third from the bottom of the table, while KUBS just couldn’t get the vital last score against DCU Saints and had to settle for second best as the buzzer sounded on a final scoreline of 77-74 in favour of Saints. Templeogue came out on top in their clash over SSE Airtricity Moycullen in the first of three games they are due to play in seven days, as they face Pyrobel Killester on Tuesday evening (March 8th) before welcoming Garvey’s Tralee Warriors to Oblate Hall on Saturday evening (March 11th).
It was a long road back to Cork for UCC Demons meanwhile, as, after being on level pegging with Pyrobel Killester at half time (44-44), they fell to an 87-74 defeat, while Radisson Blu UL Eagles suffered a ten point loss at the hands of UCD Marian.
Basketball Ireland Results: March 3rd-5th
Basketball Ireland Men's Super League
Commercial.ie Éanna 89-74 Belfast Star
SSE Airtricity Moycullen 70-84 Templeogue
Pyrobel Killester 87-74 UCC Demons
DCU Saints 77-74 KUBS BC
Radisson Blu UL Eagles 77-87 UCD
Marian Garvey’s Tralee Warriors 68-61 Griffith Swords Thunder
Basketball Ireland Women’s Super League:
Ambassador UCC Glanmire 92-49 NUIG Mystics
Pyrobel Killester 56-78 DCU Mercy
Maxol WIT Wildcats 51-64 Courtyard Liffey Celtics
Portlaoise Panthers 66-58 Singleton SuperValu Brunell
Basketball Ireland Men’s Division One:
LYIT Donegal 79-85 Keane’s Supervalu Killorglin