UNBEATEN Tradehouse Central Ballincollig remain on top of the InsureMyVan.ie Super League after clipping the wings of high-flying DBS Éanna.
After going behind 25-20 across an explosive and flowing first quarter, Kieran O'Sullivan's charges shut down the visitors with their intense defending and ferocious work-rate.
The Dubliners were held to just 21 second-half points and their top-scorer Neil Lynch limited to 14 overall, which included four first-half three-pointers. Stefano Zecevic contributed 10 points but otherwise, Éanna's players didn't reach double-figures.
Andre Nation was a model of consistency for Ballincollig, spreading his tally of 24 points across the four quarters, as well as blocking and rebounding on the defensive boards. Time and again he's delivered since crossing the Atlantic to help Ballincollig get promoted from Division 1 and it was no different here.
Despite being 6-0 in the Super League, these are still early days in the season, but the Collig have adapted comfortably to the top flight. They've a free weekend coming up, as they were beaten away to Tralee in the National Cup, before taking on Templeogue in Dublin and hosting Belfast Star this side of Christmas.
The O'Sullivan brothers, Adrian and Ciarán, were excellent on Saturday, contributing 12 points each while also setting the tone with their commitment to hard defence.
Another homegrown talent Dylan Corkery chipped in with four baskets, marking his recent call-up to the Irish men's senior international squad, and every one of them was vital, especially when Slovenian Milorad Sedlarevic wasn't his usual clinical self.
The visitors were missing Serbian Stefan Desinica through injury, while Kealan Cairns was unavailable for Ballincollig, who called on Padraig Lucey and Jack Kelly from the bench to supplement their marquee players' efforts. Spanish point guard Pau Camí Galera buzzed around the court for the Village, pushing the pace and finishing two lay-ups, and a late free throw as Ballincollig pushed the game out of Éanna's reach.
The opening 10 minutes whizzed by, Nation and Ciarán O'Sullivan (2) swishing the net from beyond the arc for the home side, Lynch (3) and Zecevic burying triples for Éanna, who led by five. The second quarter was as entertaining, Ballincollig coming to within a point 39-38 down.
They started the second half on the right note, with Corkery and Nation baskets, before Adrian O'Sullivan's pair of free throws followed by a deft floater gave Collig the initiative.
It was 55-50 when Ciarán O'Sullivan grabbed the last score of the third quarter and the fourth quarter became a dogfight, which suited Kieran O'Sullivan's charges on their own turf.