Cup heroes UL Eagles showed no signs of complacency as they beat Moycullen on their return to Nivea For Men's SuperLeague affairs, while Belfast star stunned 11890 Killester with an overtime success.
On Sunday, Bord Gais Neptune beat UCD Marian 89-71, while UCC Demons recovered from their recent cup final loss to beat DCU Saints 91-76.
UL Eagles ended their ten-year wait for a trophy last week when they claimed the Men's SuperLeague National Cup and there was no sign of a hangover as they beat Moycullen 80-59.
"This could have been a potential ‘banana skin’ coming off the cup win but I’m delighted with the effort from the squad," said Eagles head coach Mark Keenan.
"It turned out to be a comfortable win but they did put it up to us in the first half."
The Eagles led from the off and had built up an eight-point gap early in the first quarter, a lead they sustained until the end of the game.
Moycullen had difficulties dealing with Jason Killen throughout the game with the big Limerick centre contributing 34 points and 30 rebounds in the game.
Bord Gais Neptune inflicted further woe on UCD Marian as they ran out comfortable winners by 18 points on a 89-71 scoreline.
Marian were without their American Donnie Stith and Neptune took advantage to keep them well in the hunt for home advantage in the play-offs.
“We did enough, we got off to a good start in the first quarter, opening up a 15-point lead,” said Neptune head coach Mark Scannell.
“I was delighted we got the opportunity to give the youngsters a run out and overall I felt our scoring was very good. The win keeps us on track but we still have a long way to go.”
UCC Demons produced the perfect response to their recent National Cup heartbreak by handing a rare defeat to Northern Conference leaders DCU Saints on a healthy 91-76 scoreline.
Demons’ Shawn Atupem was in determined mood, contributing 38 points, while Shane Coughlan enjoyed another good day for the Cork giants.
“We played well in patches,” said Demons head coach Paul Kelleher. “We have been good offensively for the majority of the season.
“Sadly for us we had a bad day in that department in the cup final but we were more like ourselves against the Saints. It’s a great response and we hope we can finish the season on a high.”
Belfast Star secured just their second win of the season and did so in the most dramatic of circumstances by beating 11890 Killester 112-109 in double overtime.
The Northerners’ last win came away to Moycullen in the latter stages of November but the long wait for their next three points could not have been more exciting.
With just a second left in overtime, Scott Summersgill ensured another period of drama when he forced the game into double overtime with a basket. It was to prove a rare day of joy for Star as a couple of free throws from Stephen Dawson sealed the win.
“We couldn’t score in the first quarter - when Star trailed 21-3 - but Paul Cummins started hitting shots and we began to get back into the contest,” said Star head coach Danny Fulton.
“We played good defence on Jermaine Turner with a lot of his points coming from the free-throw line. We had five players in double figures which was pleasing. It was a great game for the crowd and a great advertisement for the game.”
In the Nivea Women’s SuperLeague, UL recorded their 29th consecutive win as they proved too strong for Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell, winning 91-61.
The win comes just a week after they claimed the Women’s SuperLeague National Cup and the MVP on that occasion Michelle Fahy once again proved inspirational.
“Michelle is playing super stuff,” said UL head coach James Weldon. “It wasn’t as comfortable as the scoreline suggests. They came back to within six points of us at one stage in the second half.
"I think defensively we were better in the third quarter and played smarter offensively.”
Team Montenotte Hotel head coach Cormac O’Donoghue cut a relived figure after his side edged out a battling 11890 Killester outfit 57-48.
“Normally when we hold a team to 23 points in the first half we would expect to have more points ourselves but they would not back down,” said O’Donoghue.
“Killester have shown great quality this season and they really make it difficult for teams.
“For us to have four players scoring in double digits is a great sign.”
Waterford Wildcats came from 17 points behind to beat Oblate Dynamos 60-49 and keep their hopes of a play-off place alive.
“We had a poor first half and nothing would drop,” said Wildcats head coach Tommy O’Mahony. “We were down by 17 points in the third, but we stepped it up on defence and then brought it back.
“It really does come down to our defence as we just focused on stopping them and then our shots began to drop.”
Ulster Rockets’ fine debut season continued as they beat fellow newcomers Liffey Celtics 54-46.
“Were missing some key players but I am happy with our performance,” said Rockets head coach Breda Dick.
“Our season so far has been excellent and our goal is maintaining the momentum until the end of the season.”
A disappointing weekend for Liffey Celtics was confirmed on Sunday, when they suffered a 65-57 loss to Meteors.
It was the perfect response by Meteors, who suffered defeat to capital rivals 11890 Killester in their last outing.
DCU Mercy gave their season a massive lift in the late game on Sunday evening as they beat title rivals Team Montenotte Cork 70-53 at the DCU Sports Complex.
The win maintained their excellent response since losing the Women’s SuperLeague National Cup crown to UL over a week ago.
Since that defeat they have claimed wins over Singleton’s SuperValu Brunell.
Suzanne Maguire was in brilliant form for the Dubliners, contributing 23 points, while the Dwyer sisters (Grainne & Niamh) featured high in the scoring stakes for the losing side.
“It is a big win,” said Mercy head coach Mark Ingle. “The team have shown good resolve to come back and earn back-to-back wins after the cup loss.
"The cup loss is behind us now and we have to try and ensure we have a good end to the season.”