Standard of play is on the decline across all teams and divisions in basketball

The bottom line is the reduction of Irish players on court hasn’t improved the sport and is not easy on the eye.
Standard of play is on the decline across all teams and divisions in basketball

Tradehouse Central Ballincollig's Dylan Corkery trying to get past Killorglin's Liam Croke in the Men's Super League at Ballincollig Community School. Picture: Denis Minihane.

FOR basketball fans and players of the golden era of the eighties and nineties it’s hard to believe the standard of basketball is sadly not heading in the right direction.

Credit to Ballincollig they have taken the Super League by storm this season winning their 11th consecutive game that maintained their unbeaten record in scintillating fashion.

The biggest worry for this scribe was the final score line that saw Ballincollig run out 86-42 winners against Killorglin.

The final tally of 42 points at Super League level may go down as a record for all the wrong reasons as it is possibly the lowest in the history of the league.

In recent years Killorglin have joined a band of clubs in having two Americans and numerous Bosman players.

In the case of Eanna in the Northern conference it has worked and possibly for Tralee Warriors who were recently crowned National Cup champions.

The bottom line is the reduction of Irish players on court hasn’t improved the sport and is not easy on the eye.

Is there a solution one may ask and my answer is simple, restrict every club to an allocation of two Americans but three Irish players on court at all times.

In regard to Bosmans, they can only be used as replacements for Americans on court but in the case of Europeans that are in the country for four years or more bring them into the category of Irish players.

Fr Mathew's Aisling McCann takes on Killester's Rebecca Nagle during the Women's Super League at Fr Mathew's Arena. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Fr Mathew's Aisling McCann takes on Killester's Rebecca Nagle during the Women's Super League at Fr Mathew's Arena. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

This is not a criticism of Killorglin whose panel have six Irish players and in their defeat to Ballincollig their best player was Eoin O’Sullivan.

Scoring has also become a problem for Galway side Moycullen who only managed 46 points against Belfast Star last week and last weekend 49 in their defeat at Tralee Warriors.

In defence of Moycullen they have one American and a Bosman but the scoring among their Irish players has completely dried up.

To be fair Ballincollig consistently start three Irish players and all are capable of contributing double figures and in my book they have the best American in the league with Andre Nation.

Some people may feel I am harping on about this on a consistent basis but I rest my case that in the recent National Cup finals weekend the Paudie O’Connor Women’s decider between The Address UCC Glanmire and DCU Mercy was the only game worth the admission fee.

C & S Neptune returned to winning ways when they saw off NUIG Maree by the minimum in Galway.

Roy Downey certainly played a captains part with a 23 point tally and Cian Heaphy’s late free throw sealed the deal.

Fr Mathew’s coach Niamh Dwyer finally got a change of luck when her side demolished Killester 100-62.

American Shannon Brady was going through a scoring drought in recent games but on this occasion she managed to chip in with a game high 29 points.

Singleton's SuperValu Brunell are certainly putting it up The Address UCC Glanmire in their bid for the Super League title and their latest extra time win over DCU Mercy is testament to that fact.

American Kwanze Murray missed last week’s win over Fr Mathew’s but returned in style with 32 points with her professional partner Shannon Ryan also excelling on 24.

To be fair with the exception of a poor cup semi-final against Cork rivals The Address UCC Glanmire, Brunell have competed well in all games this season.

It will be an interesting finish to the season with Glanmire in pole position but the ‘Nellies’ will not go down without a fight and neither will Wildcats, who haven't gone away either.

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