Three reasons the Ballincollig basketballers made it three in a row 

Three reasons the Ballincollig basketballers made it three in a row 
Ciaran O’Sullivan of Tradehouse Central Ballincollig in action against Jordan Fallon of IT Carlow. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

1. EXPERIENCE: When the game was threatening to run away from Ballincollig, experience stood to them.

Although Ballincollig didn’t play well on the day they still found key baskets when the pressure came on from IT Carlow.

It is some record to be unbeaten after 15 league games and four in this championship.

The Super League beckons next season for them and they will know they need a few new recruits to be competitive with the big guns.

Andre Nation of Tradehouse Central Ballincollig scores a key basket. Picture: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
Andre Nation of Tradehouse Central Ballincollig scores a key basket. Picture: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

2. CIARAN O’SULLIVAN: When Ballincollig were struggling in the fourth quarter, Ciaran O’Sullivan showed his class with three crucial baskets.

He only got going towards the end of the third quarter, and missed two free throws in normal time that would have sealed the game for Ballincollig, yet was critical to the victory.
O’Sullivan never panicked when some heads were beginning to drop. 

Although pipped for the MVP award by Andre Nation, knowing Ciaran as well as I do, trophies are more important to him that individual accolades.

Ronan O'Sullivan, left, and Ciaran O'Sullivan celebrate with the cup. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Ronan O'Sullivan, left, and Ciaran O'Sullivan celebrate with the cup. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

3. DEFENCE: When the game was taken to extra-time there was only one way Ballincollig were going to win it and that was to improve their defence.

Nation’s MVP gong was based on his improved defensive work as much as anything else.

When the going got tough the tough going as the intensity in defence in extra time basically wore down Carlow.

Ballincollig allowed Carlow far too many shots. On the side of the coin, they upped the ante when it mattered to retain their crown.

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