Travelodge Swords Thunder confirmed their status as runners-up in the Basketball Ireland Men’s Premier League with a 62-61 win at DCU Saints.
Juan Torres hit six points in the paint in the last four minutes before Mark Nagle missed the game winner from the perimeter for DCU. Thunder were runners-up in the first division last season and head coach Dave Baker is planning to freshen things up.
"Teams are starting to realise they need to add to what they have year on year,” he said. “There has to be a changing of the guard. Just because you’ve been in the league for 20 years doesn’t give you any God-given right.
"We’re looking to increase training and bring in a sports psychologist for next season. Teams who want to win silverware will continue to adapt.”
Templeogue finished bottom of the Premier League last season yet qualified for a place in the Champions Trophy with Saturday’s 92-80 win over Killester.
Despite the defeat, Killester’s place in the Champions Trophy is also assured.
Coach Jonathan Grennell isn’t concerned about being in the same half of the draw as Demons.
“There isn’t much difference between third and fourth so it’s not as pressing for us," he said. "There’s very little correlation to the year before in this league and one or two players can change a team.
"Isaac [Gordon] and Jason [Killeen] have made a big difference balance wise for Templeogue while we lost our centre Kieran O’Brien and our guard Isaac Westbrooks. I don’t they’ve caught up with us .Each year is judged on its merits.”
Cup and league champions C&S UCC Demons outscored UL Eagles 30-9 in the final quarter to maintain their 17-game-long 100% winning record.
Eagles must beat Templeogue at the UL Arena on 14 March to qualify for the end-of-season League Cup.
Belfast Star pulled off a 20-point swing in the second half to pick up their third away win of the season at the expense of BFG Neptune.
UCD Marian ended their league campaign with an 85-76 defeat in overtime of Dublin Inter. Preston Ross had the game high for the winners with 23 points.
MEN’S PREMIER LEAGUE
DCU Saints 71 Travelodge Swords Thunder 72
UL Eagles 81 C&S UCC Demons 106
BFG Neptune 78 Belfast Star 88
Templeogue 92 Killester 80
Dublin Inter 76, UCD Marian 85
MEN’S DIVISION ONE
SSE Airtricity Moycullen 74 Tolka Rovers 48
Team Left Bank Kilkenny 70-76 Fr Mathews
Maree P-P JM&L Auctioneers Titans