Basketball clubs retain title hopes

All four Galway clubs in the Basketball Ireland National League have silverware left to fight for as the season heads toward the business end.

Current division one leaders SSE Airtricity Moycullen will face Fr Mathews in Coláiste Iognáid, Galway, at 5pm on Saturday.

They go into the match boosted by last weekend’s convincing victory over Eanna, and having Ronan O’Sullivan voted as the Basketball Ireland men’s ddivision one Player Of the Month for January.

 The Moycullen forward received more than 20 per cent of the vote and takes the Ballon D’Or for a 20 points-per-game league average and a Presidents’ National Cup run which went all the way to the decider.

That defeat in the Presidents’ National Cup is now well behind them, having returned to league action with a 70-48 wom.

The home side was in determined form against their visitors to NUIG - the only side to beat Moycullen in league action this season .Top scorers for Moycullen were Ronan O’Sullivan 18, Paul Freeman 10, and Dylan Cunningham 9.

The result leaves Moycullen six points clear at the top of the table with four games left to play.

At the same venue Maree, whose first aim will be to catch Moycullen, take on Team Left Bank Kilkenny at 7.30pm.

With a game in hand and a fixture against Moycullen on February 28 for a chance to tie it up on points, they kept pace with an 85-58 win at Fr Mathews last weekend.

Kenneth Hansberry grabbed the second best game-high of the league this season with 32 points, with Matt Hornbuckle and Padraig Burke contributing 19 and 15 respectively.

Should Maree fail to catch their rivals, but maintain second place, both sides will contest the Champions Trophy. Cup champions Blue Demons are ineligible to field a division one team in this year’s competition as their Premier League counterparts will be taking part, so the spot would go to the division one runner-up.

JM&L Auctioneers Titans also have something to fight for when they head to Cork to face C&S Blue Demons on Saturday at 5pm. A sixth place or better is good enough to book a slot in the League Cup against three other division one teams and four more premier league clubs.

In women’s division one NUIG Mystics currently lie second, with but just four points separating second from bottom in the six-team league, there is still a lot to play for. However they travel to a Portlaoise Panthers on Sunday (2pm ), looking to wrap up the league title this weekend.

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