Tradehouse Central Ballincollig 90 Dublin Lions 67
BALLINCOLLIG signed off on a very successful season with a third trophy after a dominant display in the League Cup decider at DCU.
Tradehouse Central, led by a 38-point haul from MVP Andre Nation, were very impressive in dismissing Dublin Lions, who had shocked them last month in a promotion play-off.
Lions will still move up to the Super League next year, however, along with another Dublin outfit Éanna, after beating Neptune earlier this week.
Ballincollig will stay in Division 1, despite retaining the President's Cup, dominating the Southern Conference and beating Carlow and Lions over the weekend to secure a treble.
Coach Kieran O’Sullivan was thrilled with his troops.
“We were outstanding in defence and the guys certainly played very well as a unit and to win National Cup and League Cup titles in one season is no mean feat,” said Kieran O’Sullivan.
In the opening quarter, both teams were certainly up for battle but with Ballincollig’s Jack Kelly nailing two early mid-range jumpers it settled the Leesiders.
The Lions were battling to stay in the game but with American Conroy Baltimore getting close attention they relied on the outside shooting to hurt Ballincollig.
Ballincollig captain Ciaran O’Sullivan led by example in the offence court and when he drained a long-range three-pointer in the fifth minute it gave his side a 13-8 lead.
Tiernan Howe was showing nice touches but Kelly finished the quarter with his fourth deft jumper that reduced the deficit to 24-22 entering the second quarter.
Whatever the Ballincollig coach Kieran O’Sullivan said to his troops at the end of this period worked the oracle as his side played outstanding defence on the restart.
Indeed the Lions were restricted to a mere point for six minutes as Ballincollig took complete control.
Nation, who underachieved by his standard in the league play-off defeat to the same opposition was simply awesome, and midway through this period they had surged into a 13-point lead.
The Lions tried everything to get back in the game but Ballincollig repeatedly responded and an incredible buzzer-beating three-pointer by Dylan Corkery from deep inside his own half pushed them 18 points up at the interval.
On the restart, Ballincollig piled on the pressure with Ian McLoughlin sinking some clever baskets on the fastbreak. Nation was giving an exhibition at both ends of the court and the game looked over as a contest entering the final quarter when they commanded a 77-49 lead.
BALLINCOLLIG: C Murray, D Corkery, P McSweeney, A O’Connor, I McLoughlin, A Lordan, C O’Sullivan, S O’Sullivan, S O’Sullivan, D O’Sullivan, Daire O’Sullivan, J Kelly, A Chandler, A Nation, I James.
LIONS: S Mohammed, J Maguire, T Howe, T Ludbars, F Hughes, N Kavanagh, A O’Reilly, C Baltimore, I Markiewicz, R Caverley.
Referees: M McGerrrick (Dublin) P J Coughlan (Cork), C White (Dublin).