Cork basketball: League titles should be decided across the regular season

The new playoff format at the end of the Super League isn't a fair way to crown the champions, argues John Coughlan
Cork basketball: League titles should be decided across the regular season

My ball: Tradehouse Central Ballincollig's Pau Cami Galea holds onto the ball ahead of Killester's Ciaran Roe. Picture: Howard Crowdy

TRADEHOUSE Central Ballincollig continued with their unbeaten run in the Men’s Super League with a resounding away win at Bright DCU Saints.

To be fair Ballincollig in their debut season have demolished the majority of teams in the Super League but with the new playoff system back in operation they may not end up as champions.

As winners of the Southern Conference, the only guarantee they will have is a home quarter-final against the fourth-placed team in the Northern Conference.

Their latest win at DCU Saints was their 10th of the campaign and credit to all concerned they deserve to be crowned champions with the consistency and results they have shown all season.

This ruling was brought in by a club vote and the majority voted in favour of playoffs and that to me is no way to decide the destiny of a league.

A slam-dunk for Milorad Sedlarevic, Tradehouse Central Ballincollig. Picture: Larry Cummins.
A slam-dunk for Milorad Sedlarevic, Tradehouse Central Ballincollig. Picture: Larry Cummins.

The one debate, particularly among some American coaches, is the over-emphasis on winning National Cups in Ireland, especially as they take place at the halfway stage of the season.

In my book winning the league is what a season should be all about as it proves who the best team is over six months and in the case of Ballincollig let’s hope they can bring their form into the playoffs.

The Cup hangover affected the majority of sides like C & S Neptune who put in another dismal performance in their home defeat to UCD Marian. Once again the performance of the Neptune Americans was below par with Miles Washington chipping with 12 points with his partner Richaud Gittens only managing 10. In the cup final they only contributed 11 points between them and the team need bigger contributions to have any chance of league success.

C & S Neptune coach Colin O'Reilly takes notes at halftime against UCD Marian during the Men's Super League at Neptune Stadium. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
C & S Neptune coach Colin O'Reilly takes notes at halftime against UCD Marian during the Men's Super League at Neptune Stadium. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

For many weeks now I have noticed some of the shooting options from many teams in this country getting out of control. 

On a personal note, I am not a lover of the obsession with jacking up shots from the three-point line and up-and-coming players think it’s the be-all and end-all of the sport.

In the case of UCC Demons whose U20 team lost a recent cup final to UCD Marian, they attempted 42 shots outside the arc and only made seven and the sad part of those stats was the fact they lost by one point.

Modern basketball is not pretty on the eye and that fact is backed up by the poor attendance at league games.

Cup winners Tralee Warriors bit the dust at Eanna but the biggest of the weekend was Women’s finalists DCU Mercy suffering a shock defeat at St Mary’s Castleisland.

CONSISTENT

No such problems for the Paudie O’Connor National Cup champions The Address UCC Glanmire as they saw off Killester in a crucial Super League game. Not for the first time this season, defeat stared them in the face as they went into the game minus American Tierney Pfirman but when you have Claire Melia in your team and she contributes 42 points nothing is impossible.

The weekend finished at the Parochial Hall when Singleton's SuperValu Brunell won the bragging rights against Fr Mathew's in the Women’s Super League.

 Edel Thornton, Brunell, with possession. Pic: Larry Cummins.
Edel Thornton, Brunell, with possession. Pic: Larry Cummins.

 

Brunell will feel happy to have won this game as they were missing their injured American Kwanze Murray but still had too much for a Mathew's side that have declined considerably in recent months.

It proved a great day for the MVP Alex Macheta who for some strange reason had gone down the pecking order in recent months but when given the opportunity came her way she hit the big shots that helped her team seal a crucial win.

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