By Michelle Hogan
UL Eagles got their Super League season underway with a 31 point win over newcomers KUBS at the UL Arena on Saturday night.
The final score of Eagles 90 – 61 KUBS reflected a surprisingly intense and fast paced game after both teams previously suffered losses in their opening games of the season.
With both teams struggling to penetrate strong zone defences, it was the Eagles’ three point shots which set them apart with outside scores coming from Rob Lynch, Seamus Hickey and Andrew Dawson to name a few.
The defences were so strong Eagles managed to force KUBS to run the clock and hand over possession in the opening offence of the third quarter.
KUBS hit back immediately refusing to let the Eagles attack and forced the Limerick side to shoot on the buzzer, almost ready to hand possession back over.
This was an exciting first home game for UL Eagles Head Coach Tommy Walsh. Mr Walsh played for the UL team during successful years of 2000-2002. A US native Tommy has had considerable coaching experience in the US before returning to Limerick this year.
Speaking after the Eagles’ win Mr Walsh said: “We came out ready to play tonight and I’m extremely happy with how our bench played. Everybody came off the bench and brought a lot of pressure and a lot of intensity.”
“The guys on this team know that we are all fighting for minutes still so early in the season and we are all good enough to fight and that’s going to make us very good.” Mr Walsh said.
“I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t look for a few things we need to fix, some things need to be a little faster like transition defence and we definitely have to work on offensive sets against a zone [defence]” Mr Walsh added.
KUBS from Greendale, Dublin previously lost their first home game of the season to Moycullen and Eagles suffered a one point defeat to Belfast having lead by two points with 14 seconds remaining. KUBS are new to the Super league which is the top tier men’s basketball league in Ireland.
In 2015, KUBS entered a senior men’s representative team into Basketball Ireland’s National League Division 1 competition. In their inaugural season, KUBS finished runners-up with a 14–4 record and claimed the post-season League Cup trophy.
In May 2016, KUBS was elevated into the Super League for the 2016–17 season.