Defending champions UL Eagles served notice at the weekend that they will not be handing over the Men’s Premier League title without a fight.
Trailing both Killester and C&S UCC Demons in the league table, Eagles registered the most impressive win of the weekend with a convincing 17-point defeat of Belfast Star in Limerick.
“We just need to keep ourselves right there [chasing the undefeated Killester and Demons]. We have 11 games yet to play so there is loads of basketball yet to go,” said Eagles coach Mark Keenan.
Eagles currently sit third in the table on two losses.
Particularly impressive for Eagles in Saturday’s outing was the performance of American centre Delwan Graham who finished up with 36 points and terrorised the Belfast Star players with his shot-blocking potential.
“He is a great intimidator there under the basket and stars guys went down the lane a bit worried about where he was all the time,” said Keenan, who was also glad to see the return of point guard Scott Kinevane from injury.
“Scott back playing gives us that energy and the pace of the game was quicker than it had been which gets us going.
Eagles fellow two-loss team Bord Gais Neptune also registered an important win Saturday as they overcame UCD Marian on the road.
With powerful displays from the inside pairing of Mattie Rudak and Paul Stapleton, Neptune proved too good for a Marian side continuing to battle with inconsistency.
The tightest game of the weekend came in the form of Dublin Inter versus DCU Saints with the visiting Saints emerging victorious by just four points, leaving Inter the consolation of a losing bonus point.
Sunday, meanwhile saw two somewhat predictable outcomes as first and second placed Killester and C&S UCC Demons held home court against last and second last placed SSE Renewables Moycullen and Templeogue respectively.
In the Women’s Premier League, it was a busy weekend of action for Singleton SuperValu who bounced back from their loss to UL Huskies the previous Saturday to defeat Liffey Celtics before turning their attention on Sunday to their meeting with DCU Mercy.
Unfortunately from a Brunell perspective, it wasn’t to be two wins from two as a strong fourth quarter from DCU Mercy who rallied late to earn a ten point victory.
In Limerick, defending champions UL Huskies reaffirmed that they remain the standard bearers in the league as they demolished a WIT Wildcats team that had entered the game in first place.
With Rachael Vanderwal in outstanding form, Huskies proved too good on their home-court and delivered an 84 to 65 victory where the result was never really in question from mid-way through the second quarter.
Also in action during the weekend were Killester and Team Montenotte Hotel, who both showed their class with convincing wins over Ulster Rockets and Meteors respectively.