Eagles' first league title
UL Eagles claimed their first Nivea For Men's Superleague title to wrap up a memorable season and secure the double after they beat DCU Saints 70-56 at the National Basketball Arena on Friday night.
DCU Saints got off to a positive start, opening up a 6-2 lead with Latvian Martins Provizors contributing all six points for the Dubliners. Eagles responded with a basket from the experienced Welsh international Matt Hall, while Robert Taylor burst through with a lay-up to ensure the sides were level in an excellent opening five minute spell.
Both teams were displaying excellent defensive duties with Pat Glover's basket cancelled out by Jason Killeen's score and a successful effort from the free throw line. A fine effort from Pat Glover edged the Northsiders in front but Killeen was not to be outdone and ensured the sides were level (12-12) at the end of the first quarter.
The Saints raced into a 19-14 lead courtesy of some fine work from Provizors, Trimmer and Eoin Quigley but Taylor responded to bring UL back to within two points. Taylor was in no mood to let-up and a further basket saw a tight encounter locked at 20-20. The quarter ended with DCU holding the narrowest of leads (26-25).
The game was turning out to be a dogfight with the lead switching in favour of UL, but only by one point with just over six minutes remaining in the quarter.
Three points in quick succession suggested UL might just finally gain some breathing space but Saints refused to be ruffled and a fine lay-up from Anderson maintained the tension at the Arena. The final 30 seconds of the quarter finally saw the contest spring to life with Hall converting a big three to leave it 46-40 in favour of Mark Keenan's side as they faced into a big third quarter.
It gave UL the perfect boost ahead of the final quarter and with five minutes left on the clock, they held a priceless seven point lead. It was a lead they were not going to relinquish and they eventually wrapped up the title with a comfortable 70-56 win.