Belfast Star began the defence of their InsureMyVan.ie 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.
James Claar led Belfast Star’s scoring with 19, with Max Cooper adding 18, while Aidan’s brother, Conor Quinn, had 14. Speaking afterwards head coach Adrian Fulton said: “The only thing that matters right now is that Aidan Quinn makes a full recovery. 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. I was delighted in particular with the performance of Conor Ryan and there were some good signs that we are moving in the right direction. 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.”
UCD Marian head coach Josko Srzic added: “We are happy with a good win to start the season. We know there is a lot more work that we need to do, but winning in Belfast is always difficult and it’s a great start.”
Tradehouse Central Ballincollig impressed on their InsureMyVan.ie 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.
“We are used to these situations and we don’t overreact, defensively Andre (Nation), Dylan (Corkery) and Milorad (Sedlarevic) stepped up and gave fastbreak opportunities, we are thrilled to win our first game in Super League history”, O’Sullivan said.
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. John Dowling, Tralee Warriors head coach says his new players have slotted in seamlessly. “We’re delighted with how they have adjusted, Aaron (Calixte) had foul trouble which held him back, so there is more to come from him for sure. They are great men, who want to improve and help in the basketball community, so we are delighted with them and look forward to seeing their progress.”
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.
Griffith College Templeogue head coach Mark Keenan was pleased to pick up an opening day victory. “Great to get off to a good start and win against Bright DCU Saints. It was very important to get that first win away from home under our belt and now we can work on building on this momentum for our first home game next week against DBS Éanna.”
In the InsureMyVan.ie Division One both Drogheda Wolves and Grand Hotel Malahide started life in the National League with victories. Drogheda Wolves had a 82-70 success over Titans, while Grand Hotel Malahide had a 56-point win over LYIT Donegal, it finished 109-53.
UCC Demons, who are eight-time winners of the Super League, returned to the National League with a 87-59 win at Killarney Cougars. Head coach Daniel O’Mahony said: "I was really happy overall to get the first win of the season and go 1-0, We led for majority of the game and Cougars kept responding with good runs. I was really happy with how my guys stuck to our game plan and stuck together to get the job done. Overall, a good team performance with everyone contributing. We played really good at stages and also not so good at times, but we will learn and grow and from next week try improve."
InsureMyVan.ie Super League - Round 1 results
Saturday 9th October
Tradehouse Central Ballincollig 78-69 C&S Neptune
Top scorers Tradehouse Central Ballincollig: Milorad Sedlarevic 24, Andre Nation 19, Dylan Corkery 8
Top scoers C&S Neptune: Roy Downey 17, Miles Washington 14, Colin O'Reily 13
NUIG Maree 70-68 Moycullen
Top scorers NUIG Maree: Lovre Tvrdic 18, Deondre Jackson 14, Luka Kraljic 13
Top scorers Moycullen: Grant Olsson 21, Josh Marvesley 13, Kyle Cunningham 9
DBS Éanna 94-88 Killester (OT)
Half-time: 37-47 (End of 4th quarter: 83-83)
Top scorers DBS Éanna: Stefan Zecevic 14, Stefan Desnica 14, Romonn Nelson 14
Top scorers Killester: Kason Harrel 23, Ciaran Rowe 19, John Behan 18
Bright DCU Saints 61-84 Griffith College Templeogue
Top scorers Bright DCU Saints: Graham Brannelly 17, Benjamin Durox 13, Julius Brooks 12
Top scorers Griffith College Templeogue: Lorcan Murphy 18, Enrique Melini 14, Jason Killeen 12
Garvey’s Tralee Warriors 92-78 Team 360 Financial Killorglin
Top scorers Garvey’s Tralee Warriors: Aaron Calixte 21, Nikola Roso 21, Ronalds Elksnis 15
Top scorers Team 360 Financial Killorglin: Simon Francis 24, Allan Thomas 16, Xabier Arriaga 13
Sunday 10th October
Belfast Star 74-83 UCD Marian
Top scorers Belfast Star: James Claar 19, Max Cooper 18, Conor Quinn 14
Top scorers UCD Marian: Srdjan Stojanovic 35, Jonathan Jean 21, Matt Kelly 15
InsureMyVan.ie Division 1 – Round 1 results
Saturday 9th October
Limerick Sport Eagles 77-62 Portlaoise Panthers
Top scorers Limerick Sport Eagles: Manny Payton 25, Nikola Ivkovic 13, Steve King 11
Top scorers Portlaoise Panthers: Gary Morrissey 15, Nelson Larmins 12, Ian Lynch 9
Limerick Celtics 111-104 Scotts Lakers Killarney
Top scorers Limerick Celtics: Andre Wolford 55, Rafa llopis 28, Jordon Hehir 14, Ruairi Cronin 13
Top scorers Scotts Lakers Killarney: Emiliyan Gordon 31, Ben Miller 30, James O’Sullivan 17, Rui Saraiva 14
Killarney Cougars 59-87 UCC Demons
Top scorers Killarney Cougars: Mark O'Shea 19, Justin Tuason 18, Conor Flynn 11
Top scorers UCC Demons: Tala Fam Thiam 31, Andre Kennedy 14, Stefan Manojovic 12
Drogheda Wolves 82-70 Titans
Top scorers Drogheda Wolves: Jubril Allade 19, Tiago Periera 14, Ciaran McGroggan 13
Top scorers Titans: Joseph Coughlan 33, Pete Brown 10, Jackson Soper 8
Ej Sligo All-Stars 88-84 McGowans Tolka Rovers (OT)
Half-time: 45-36 (End of 4th quarter: 78-78)
Top scorers Ej Sligo All-Stars: Keith Jordan 27, Zackary Powell 23, Jamie Hayes 18
Top scorers Tolka Rovers: Danas Smigelskis 24, Michael Bonaparte 19, Conor Liston 10, Daniel Ayode 10
Ulster University 79-63 Abbey Seals Dublin Lions
Top scorers Ulster University: Conor O’Sullivan 30, Oisin Kerlin 13, Cian Carmichael 9
Top scorers Abbey Seals Dublin Lions: Finn Hughes 21, Liam Osinuga 10, Oisin Rice 8
Sunday 10th October
IT Carlow Basketball 89-59 WIT Vikings
Top scorers IT Carlow Basketball: Kevin Donohoe 19, Aaron Whelan 14, Nathaniel Shafer 14, Armand Vaikuls 14, Ben Kelly-Flynn 8
Top scorers WIT Vikings: Conor Fenton 14, Daniel Sheehan 11, Denis Miculescu 8, Andrew Malone 6
Grand Hotel Malahide 109-53 LYIT Donegal
Top scorers Grand Hotel Malahide: Darragh Timmons 20, Romond Jenkins 16, Peder Madsen 14
Top scorers LYIT Donegal: Calvin Whipple 27, Andrew McGeever 11, Luke Cassidy 9