The domestic Basketball season got underway over the weekend bring the sport back after no games having been played since March of 2020.

Basketball was one of the most impacted sports with no indoor activity allowed and the season ended abruptly last year and then not able to get played at all over last winter.

In the meantime, though Basketball Ireland has secured new sponsors in and, both of whom were featured at venues around the country for the season tip-off.

Belfast Star began the defence of their Super League title with an 83-74 home defeat to UCD Marian at De La Salle. They also suffered a devastating injury to Aidan Quinn, who dislocated his knee six minutes before tip off.

Despite that hammer blow, Belfast Star led 40-37 at the break and had a four-point advantage (60-56) going into the final quarter, before UCD Marian powered home in the fourth quarter. Srdjan Stojanovic, who joined from Icelandic side Thor AK, top scored with 35 points, followed closely behind by Jonathan Jean, another summer recruit.

“The only thing that matters right now is that Aidan Quinn makes a full recovery,” said Head Coach Adrian Fulton.

“A horrible injury, unfortunately. UCD are an excellent team, very well coached and have a lot of talented and experienced players. I was very encouraged by a lot of what I saw from us today despite the loss. Disappointing to lose, given that we were right in the mix until the last 40 seconds. We have had a difficult pre-season, but we were much better today than we were last weekend in our first two pre-season games. The atmosphere was as electric as ever in La Salle and our supporters did their best to will us over the line. Every week is going to be a battle.”

Tradehouse Central Ballincollig impressed on their Super League debut, with a come from behind victory over local rivals C&S Neptune. C&S Neptune led at the end of each of the opening three quarters, before Kieran O’Sullivan’s men rallied in the final quarter to win 78-69. Milorad Sedlarevic had 24 points, while Andre Nation scored 19 points for the victors.

DBS Éanna and Killester played out a tight contest, which went to overtime with the team’s level at 83 points apiece, before DBS Éanna managed to take the win 94-88. Their Serbian duo of Stefan Zecevic and Stefan Desnica had 14 points, as did Romonn Nelson. American Kason Harrel impressed for Killester with 23 points.

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors appear to have recruited well, American Aaron Calixte and Croatian Nikola Roso each had 21 points, while Latvian Ronalds Elksnis had 15 points in a 92-78 win over Team 360 Financial Killorglin.

It was a tight contest in Galway, as NUIG Maree edged Moycullen 70-68. Croatian Lovre Tvrdic top-scored for NUIG Maree with 18, while American Grant Olsson had 21 points in a losing effort for Moycullen.

Griffith College Templeogue won 84-61 at Bright DCU Saints, Lorcan Murphy headed the scoring with 18 points, new Spanish signing Enrique Melini grabbed 14 points and Jason Killeen chipped in with 12.

Women’s Super League

DCU Mercy began the defence of their Super League title with a 20-point win over WIT Waterford Wildcats at the DCU Arena.

Their two new Americans Alarie Mayze (22) and Bailey Greenberg (20) were to the fore on debut. “Yes, they played well both of them, Bailey had strong first half and Alarie strong second half”, head coach Mark Ingle said.

The Address UCC Glanmire are the early table-toppers in the Super League after their 112-41 win over Team Garvey’s St. Mary’s in the first National League fixture to be played in 19 months, as they faced each other at the Mardyke Arena on Friday night. Their American Gianna Smith led their scoring on 29 points, with Ireland internationals Claire O’Sullivan and Aine McKenna contributing 18 and 17 points respectively.

The Address UCC Glanmire head coach Mark Scannell said: “Look you saw how much it meant to the girls just to be back playing. We passed the ball well and everyone worked hard. Good start, but lots of work to do.”

The 2019/20 Division One champions Trinity Meteors got off to a good start in the Super League, edging Fr. Mathews 67-64 at Fr. Mathews Arena. They had to come from behind, trailing 37-30 at half-time, but a strong third quarter saw Vincent O’Keeffe’s side turn the game in their favour and led 49-43 going into the final quarter, clinging on for victory. Trinity Meteors’ new signing from Maree, Dayna Finn, led the scoring with 19, while Sarah Kenny had 16 points. The experienced Gráinne Dwyer picked up 22 points for Fr. Mathews.

Leixlip Amenities Liffey Celtics were 12-point winners over Killester, 65-53 Alexis Dillard top scored for the home side with 16, while Killester’s American Myah Taylor accumulated 23 points which wasn’t enough to avoid defeat.

Singleton Supervalu Brunell won 81-54 at IT Carlow Basketball, Shannon Ryan led their scoring with 18 points, with Katie Walsh draining 13. American Alyssa Velles topped the scoring charts for IT Carlow Basketball with 18, with Lucy Coogan getting 16.


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