Eanna battle back to secure top flight berth

COMMERCIAL.IE Eanna men’s basketball team have secured their place in the Men’s Super League thanks to a tremendous fight back against KUBS that eventually led to an 89-74 point victory on Saturday night in Coláiste Eanna.

Mick Thompson’s side found themselves 18 points down at one stage in the first half, but rallied with the aid of a couple of three points by Neil Lynch to close the gap to 12 by the halftime break.

Eanna V KUBS04

“We just refocused at halftime and our defensive intensity really improved in the third quarter,” recalled Thompson who saw his team outscore their opponents 27-12 in this period to take a three-point lead into the fourth.

And they refused to let up, again outscoring their opponents 33-21 to run out 15-point winners and subsequently climb to ninth place in the table while KUBS were left to negotiate a relegation/ promotion play-off with Ulster Elks.

Lynch emerged the game’s top scorer on 28 points while Aidan Dunne and Luke Thompson combined for 32.

Also telling was the influence of American Jonathan Riles, who joined Eanna from none other than KUBS, and played in their last five games.

His presence at point guard has been a massive boost for the team which has certainly benefitted from his supply to the shooters and has gone a long way to seeing the team make it a 50 per cent win rate in their closing six games to the season.

Delighted at how his players responded to the KUBS challenge when it mattered, Eanna Coach Thompson said: “The lads knew that KUBS were going to be coming to their home looking to take away their Super League pass and they were determined not to let that happen

“We’re there [in the Super League) on merit and what I’ve really found encouraging has been the form of our Irish players.

“Aidan, Luke, and Neill have all been performing really well. Conor White and Ronan Murray have all been excellent.

“So we have a good core of Irish players and if we can get another inter-national to fit, we’ll be good to go next season.

“After three years in National League basket-ball, we’re a fully established side [at this level] and the lads have really earned their place” he insisted.

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