Superleague

Podcast Ep 13: Irish Superleague 2016 Preview with Mark Nagle & Mark O’Leary

The new season is almost here so we break down the comings and goings during the off-season of the Irish Basketball Superleague with Niall & Mark O’Leary.

We also talk to Mark Nagle about his decision to return to DCU saints and his thoughts on the upcoming season. Did we miss any big transfer news? Let us know! The Podcast is here! Spread the word….

 

Fixing the Basketball League of Ireland

While the name itself had become self-parody, didn’t you prefer it when you could just call it the Superleague?  Anyway…

DCU Saints Handed Victory By UCD

With both teams coming off back to back wins this game was billed to be a closely contested affair. The Dublin rivals have always been apart of fierce rivalry games and this did not disappoint.
UCD started the match as they have every game so far, with intense defense that forced an experienced starting Saints lineup into poor offenses and turnovers. Marian took advantage of this with a pair of baskets from John Galvin and a pair of corner jumpers from Matt Kelly. As Saints settled into the first quarter it was man-mountain Martins Provizors that ignited the mini comeback towards the end of the first. Keith Anderson’s fancy fastbreak dish for an easy layup and the foul for Martins meant the first quarter finished tied at 13.

John Galvin showing his dynamic finishing ability

Second quarter started as it finished with Provizors grabbing 2 early offensive boards to give DCU the early edge. As soon as it appeared DCU had a foothold two 3’s from Cathal Finn quickly put Marian back in front. Saints offense could not get going and only a bail out jumper from Michael Chubb could end their scoring drought. The referees choked the life out of the whole game and Saints frustration boiled over with a technical foul on Saints coach David Donnelly. Marian missed 3 out of the 4 free throws, setting the tone for their own downfall later in the game. DCU trailed at the half by 10.

Matt Kelly at the line for one of his and one free throws

Matt Kelly opened the 3rd with 2 quick baskets including an and one, he had taken Pat Glover out of the game with stifling defense throughout. Though UCD’s defense was still strong fouls stopped the game too often to build up any rhythm on either side. Once the play opened up a little it was Saints that took the initiative. Martins’ layup and a Keith Anderson 3 cut the lead to 6. UCD pushed the lead back to 9 by the end of the 3rd.

The 4th started as the rest of the game had done, fouls and turnovers for both sides. A clear path foul by Conor Meany and no good offences for the first 5 minutes of the final quarter gave DCU the lifeline needed. The lead was down to 3 and Marian were in team fouls with 5 minutes to go. The go to offense of John Galvin was completely nullified by DCU’s Eoin Quill who shut down the american big man through hustle and beating the big man to the spot every time. Saints took the lead after UCD coach Sasa got a technical foul after a foul was called that he cared very little for. Saints made all 4 of the free throws. Breakaway layups and free throws closed the game out for Saints and eventually ran out 62-53 winners.

DCU ran out easy winners in the end

With Marian in control for the entire game it was early fouls in the 4th and indiscipline that cost them the game. That said Saints still had to win the game and that they did by hitting their free throws and converting on turnovers. Eoin Quill’s defense on John Galvin was the big turning point allowing Marian nothing simple through the entire 4th quarter.

UCD Secure Home Opener Over Neptune

UCD Marian welcomed Neptune for their first home game of the new Superleague season. After the disappointment of their loss to Killester last week UCD were looking to bounce back with a win. Though they got it, they did not have it all their own way and in the end it felt like Neptune lost the game rather than UCD winning it.

UCD win first home game of the season in front of a packed Belfield crowd

UCD win first home game of the season in front of a packed Belfield crowd

UCD’s new coach Sasa Punosevac was the most exciting entity on the court for the first few minutes of the game as Neptune ran out to an early 5 nil lead. Though they lead Neptune did not run a single set offense for the first 6 minutes, early full court guard pressure and the shot clock dictated the tempo of Neptune’s attacks. A big block from Darren Townes announced the Neptune american’s arrival and he kept the visitors scoreboard ticking when they appeared to be out of a comfortable rhythm. The UCD american John Galvin was the center point of the offense all game. His post play was unstoppable all game and even the outstanding shot blocking of Neptune’s Paul Stapleton could not stop the 6’10 center from dominating around the rim.

 

Conor Meany scratching his sidies

The first half ended with UCD up 3 and the second half started in a scrappy mood with early fouls on both sides choking the life out of the quarter. Neptune captain Ger Noonan got called for a technical foul when he thought the ref was wrong and offered his opinion. Townes picked up his 4th foul and sat for the remainder of the 3rd and start of the 4th quarter, this left a hole offensively that they could not fill to keep in touch with UCD. Conor James drilled a bail out 3 on the shot clock buzzer to start the 4th quarter and then with 4:20 left Townes gets called for a silly over the back foul forcing him out of the game and effectively handing UCD the game.

The match finished 70-64 with John Galvin leading all scorers with 26 points. Do-everything forward (and captain for the day) Dan James was very good throughout and Liam Conroy was assured in possession of the ball all game giving UCD a solid platform to work off every time down the floor. UCD should improve throughout the season and for Neptune I hope Darren Townes can shoulder a serious load for an entire season.

Better late than never

Belfast Star picked up a win at home against Moycullen a few weeks ago and as the title suggests, Star’s improved performance is ‘better late than never’ [Editor: OK, it’s mostly in reference to the lateness of the highlight video].

 

Belfast Star vs Moycullen
Belfast Star : 76 (Half Time: 41)
Moycullen : 67 (Half Time: 35)
Top Scorers
Belfast Star : S Summersgill 19; P Cummins 18; J Johnson 17
Moycullen : S Camps 16; C Nihill 14; L Enos 12
Venue : De La Salle

 

Special thanks to one of our newest video producers; Joanne Fitzpatrick