The 2012 National Cup Final will take place on Friday night and will feature a potentially mouth watering all Munster affair when UCC Demons and UL Eagles clash in the final of the Mens SuperLeague National Cup.
In the Womens decider, UL will be bidding to end DCU Mercys hopes of a third successive cup title.
UCC Demons will be looking to make it a third win this season against UL Eagles when they clash on Friday night in the final of the 2012 Mens SuperLeague National Cup.
The Cork giants Demons put in a storming third quarter in their first league clash and eventually ran out comfortable 14 point winners. When the teams met a month later in Cork Demons edged the Eagles by five points.
UL Eagles have a vast amount of experience where all but one of their first six players have years of experience of playing in the USA in college, said Demons Head Coach Paul Kelleher. Rob Lynch and Matt Hall are previous winners, while Rob Taylor and Jason Killeen have European experience so this tells you the magnitude of the task ahead of us on Friday night. We are going to have to work if we are to get the desired result we are looking for. UL Eagles will be hoping their Head Coach Mark Keenans vastly experienced cup CV will stand to them when they face Demons.
Keenan lead Killester to the cup title in 2010 before a late rally from UCD Marian thwarted his hopes of back to back trophies in 2011. UCC Demons have shown what a powerful team they are with some convincing wins over Neptune and Belfast Star over the last few weeks, said Keenan. Simply, we will need to be at our best in order to challenge for Cup honours. They have multiple players that can score big so team defence will be the key to our challenge.
When Demons defeated UL the Limerick side did not have American Robert Taylor, who on his day is a serious threat going to the hoop. Carlton Cuff could be the Demons ace given the job of stopping Taylors threat. Eagles also have 610 Jason Killeen and he will match up with Demons American Shawn Atupem. The contributions of UCC Demons captain Shane Coughlan and Niall OReilly will be a key to the destination of this final. Coughlan is an outstanding leader that likes nothing better than showing his skills on the big stage as he still holds the record of being the only Irish player to be awarded MVP in the consecutive cup finals of 2004/2005. Niall OReilly is a born warrior and when you throw in the likes of Niall Murphy, Ciaran OSullivan, Shane Duggan and Kyle Hosford they have assembled a serious panel of players. Matt Hall and Niall Campbell are renowned for keeping their best form against UCC Demons and the Cork side will need to be focused on their threats outside the perimeter in what should be an intriguing encounter. In the Womens SuperLeague National cup final, DCU Mercy go head to head with UL with the Dublin side bidding to win their third consecutive title. Mercys hopes of claiming that feat will be tested to the hilt by a UL outfit, who havent experienced defeat in over a year of action.
We are up against a massive test against a UL side who havent experienced defeat in quite a while, said Mercy Head Coach Mark Ingle. They will be huge favourites coming into this final. They already beat us in the league convincingly this season but we were very poor on the day.
Its the cup and expect the unexpected, added Ingle. The three is a row is a nice prospect but not something you really think about. Its a new cup, a new year and hopefully we can manage to win it. UL will be desperate their unbeaten run doesnt end up coming unstuck on the most important weekend of the clubs recent history. This is our biggest game so far of the season, said UL Head Coach James Weldon. We take great confidence from our unbeaten record, its not something that is playing on our minds ahead of this game. You cannot read too much into the league game earlier in the season, he added. DCU probably werent playing as well as they could and are playing much better at the moment. DCUs recent record in the cup is strong and that is great testament to their coach Mark Ingle and a great group of players. Its a one off game but from our point of view we have been consistently strong this year and we hope it will continue at the weekend.
Friday February 3rd 2012 Mens SuperLeague National Cup Final UL Eagles V UCC Demons, National Basketball Arena, 20:45 Womens SuperLeague National Cup Final DCU Mercy V UL, National Basketball Arena, 18:45 Saturday February 4th 2012 Nivea for Mens SuperLeague Bord Gis Neptune v Moycullen, Neptune Stadium, 19:00; 11890 Killester v UCD Marian, IWA, 20:00; Belfast Star v DCU Saints, DLS Anderstown, 20:30 Nivea Womens SuperLeague 11890 Killester v Meteors, IWA, 18:00; Liffey Celtics v Waterford Wildcats, Leixlip Amenities Centre, 19:30; Oblate Dynamos v Team Montenotte Hotel, Oblate Hall, 20:00 Basketball Ireland Mens Division One Team Left Bank Kilkenny v Team Garveys St.Marys, OLoughlin Gaels GAA Club, 19:00; Team Loftus Recycling Ballina v Maree, Ballina Sports & Leisure Centre, 19:30; Basketball Ireland Womens Division One Team Tom McCarthys St.Marys v Tralee Imperials, Castleisland Community Centre, 19:45 Sunday February 5th 2012 Nivea Womens SuperLeague Singletons SuperValu Brunell v DCU Mercy, Parochial Hall, 14:45 Basketball Ireland Mens Division One Blue Demons v Matt OFlaherty Chemist Titans, Mardyke Arena, 13:00; Neptune v Team Meadowlands St. Brendans, Neptune Stadium, 13:00; Ballon v Portlaoise, Palmerstown Sports Complex, 15:30 Basketball Ireland Womens Division On Brittons Insurance Donegal Town V Scruffys St. Pauls Killarney, Abbey Vocational School, 13:00; UL V Meteors, UL Arena, 15:00
32-year old Irish ex-international guard Donnie McGrath (193-90kg-84, college: Providence). He is a dual citizen owning also American passport. McGrath played last season at Obradoiro in Spanish Liga Endesa. In 33 games he had 7.7ppg, 1.7rpg and 4.7apg. The previous (14-15) season he played at Krasny Oktyabr in Russian league where in 6 Eurocup games he recorded 11.2ppg, 2.7rpg and 5.3apg. McGrath also played 17 games in VTB United League where he avera... [read more]
Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius (LKL) signed 32-year old Irish ex-international guard Donnie McGrath (193-90kg-84, college: Providence). He is a dual citizen owning also American passport. McGrath played last season at Obradoiro in Spanish Liga Endesa. In 33 games he had 7.7ppg, 1.7rpg and 4.7apg. The previous (14-15) season he played at Krasny Oktyabr in Russian league where in 6 Eurocup games he recorded 11.2ppg, 2.7rpg and 5.3apg. McGrath also played 17 games in VTB United League where he averaged 9.2ppg, 2.6rpg and 4.6apg. The other team he played shortly was Anadolu Efes in Turkish league. In 5 Euroleague games he got 4.0ppg, 1.4rpg and 1.0apg. McGrath also spent pre-season at La ICL Manresa (also in Liga Endesa) that year. He was a member of Irish Senior National Team between 2006 and 2008. McGrath is quite experienced player. He has played also professionally in France (Cholet Basket), Greece (PAOK Thessaloniki, AEK Athens and Egaleo), Italy (Openjobmetis VA, Verona and BancaTercas), Lithuania (Zalgiris) and Russia (Spartak St.Petersburg). McGrath attended Providence College until 2006 and it will be his eleventh (!!!) season as a professional player.
Ian O'Leary agreed terms with Fuenlabrada - 10 days ago
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30-year old American (has also Irish passport) forward Ian O'Leary (201-101kg-86, college: St.Mary's, CA) from Iberostar Tenerife CB Canarias. In 34 Liga Endesa games in Spain he recorded 4.5ppg and 2.7rpg last season. The previous (14-15) season O'Leary played at Gran Canaria where in 26 Liga Endesa games he averaged 4.9ppg and 3.1rpg. He also played 20 games in Eurocup where he had 6.8ppg, 3.0rpg and 1.2apg. A... [read more]
Montakit Fuenlabrada (Liga Endesa) strengthened their roster with addition of 30-year old American (has also Irish passport) forward Ian O'Leary (201-101kg-86, college: St.Mary's, CA) from Iberostar Tenerife CB Canarias. In 34 Liga Endesa games in Spain he recorded 4.5ppg and 2.7rpg last season. The previous (14-15) season O'Leary played at Gran Canaria where in 26 Liga Endesa games he averaged 4.9ppg and 3.1rpg. He also played 20 games in Eurocup where he had 6.8ppg, 3.0rpg and 1.2apg. Among other achievements O'Leary played in the final of WCC Tournament in 2009. He received also Eurobasket.com All-Spanish LEB Silver Forward of the Year award back in 2011. O'Leary has played previously for four other teams: Blancos de Rueda, Palencia Baloncesto, Vigo and Oviedo CB. He attended Saint Mary's College of California until 2009 and it will be his eighth season in pro basketball. The scouts decsribe him following way:
Overlooked somewhat at college but has blossomed in Europe. Strong going to the basket and has good athletic ability. Working on being more consistent outside the 3pt line but provides a real mis match for teams.
A very good athlete he is able to play several positions effectively because of a great mix of size and quickness. Rebounds like a center but runs like a guard. Very effective mid range jumper causes a lot of problems cause he is able to just shoot over top of most defenders. Can handle the ball and has no problem handling pressure and being a release valve for any backcourt. Aggressive offensive mind set makes him lead by example. At college played in a system to showcase NBA Draft choice Patrick Mills, but his performance in Europe will be very different as he will be allowed to show his complete game. Has very long arms and consistently tips and blocks shots from the backside and weak side. A very complete player is capable of playing at very high levels as he continues to develop. Shoots the deep ball quite well and is extending his range which for a player his size will make him deadly.
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