There will be a repeat of the Mens SuperLeague National Cup final at the Mardyke Arena tomorrow (Friday) when UCC Demons and UL Eagles go head to head.
Demons will complete their busy weekend when the host UCD Marian at the same venue on Sunday.
UL Eagles also have a busy weekend as they get ready for to welcome northern conference leaders DCU Saints to the UL Arena on Saturday.
Belfast Star, fresh from their surprise win over 11890 Killester, will be favourites to see off Moycullen at Anderstown.
11890 Killester will be hoping to bounce back from the Star defeat but Bord Gais Neptune are sure to test their credentials at Clontarf.
In the Nivea Womens SuperLeague, DCU Mercy will be bidding to avenge their recent National Cup Final defeat to UL when they travel to Limerick to play the champions.
Team Montenotte will be looking to continue their title charge against Meteors and Waterford Wildcats should have too much firepower for Ulster Rockets.
Basement side Liffey Celtics face a tough test away to 11890 Killester and Singletons Supervalu Brunell have an opportunity to get maximum points when they host Oblate Dynamos.
UL Eagles were given no chance by many pundits in their recent final against UCC Demons and they will have another opportunity to repeat that feat at the Mardyke Arena tomorrow.
Demons were impressive in their win last week over DCU Saints and coach Paul Kelleher is hoping for more of the same against the newly crowned cup champions.
Our sole focus is Friday night which is crucial in the league standings and a victory could prove vital for either side, said Kelleher.
The good news for Demons is that Niall Murphy, Kyle Hosford, Shane Duggan and Danny OMahony will all return after missing the Saints game.
We have been working all week to improve our performance against Eagles and despite a few injuries, I believe we will get things right this weekend.
For UL, it represents another opportunity to claim a notable victory.
Demons will be looking to overturn the cup result and we are determined to prove that our victory was well justified, said Eagles Head Coach Mark Keenan,
There is no question that we have a tough test ahead of us and our focus will be directed on slowing down the scoring from American Shawn Atupem.
However, a win will enable us to keep up the pressure on Neptune in the league table.
Its going to be a busy weekend for the two Munster clubs as UL face DCU Saints on Saturday at the UL Arena with Demons welcoming UCD Marian to their home base on Sunday.
Saints will welcome back Martin Provisors and Emmet Donnelly as coach David Donnelly hopes his side can bounce back in style.
To be honest I thought we were flat in defence at times against Demons and UL who defeated us on our home court earlier in the season will certainly put it up to us, David said.
Belfast Star, who defeated 11890 Killester after double overtime, host Moycullen hoping to chalk up their second consecutive win.
We needed that win against Killester and hopefully the guys will show the same attitude against Moycullen, said Star coach Danny Fulton.
11890 Killester, still reeling from the Star defeat, host Bord Gais Neptune at Clontarf hoping for a far better performance.
When Darren took over, we set out our stall and to win a trophy was part of that, we were so unlucky to lose in the cup semi final against UL Eagles and through inconsistency we have lost games that we were coasting in so that is something that we must put right, said Killester Centre Mike Westbrooks.
The Bord Gais Neptune coach Mark Scannell is determined to get the win that will keep his side in the mix for the southern conference title.
Its an important game, said Neptune Head Coach Mark Scannell. We have 11890 Killester and DCU Saints in Dublin and I think we need at least one win out of those two games to ensure we maintain the pressure on UCC Demons in the Southern Conference.
Jermaine (Turner) has been a big thorn in our side this season and its important we keep close tabs on him.
Basketball Ireland Upcoming Fixtures
Friday February 17th 2012
Nivea for Mens SuperLeague
UCC Demons V UL Eagles, Markdyke Arena, 20:00
Saturday February 18th 2012
Nivea for Mens Superleague
Belfast Star v Moycullen, DLS Anderstown, 19:15; UL Eagles v DCU Saints, UL Arena, 19:30; 11890 Killester v Bord Gais Neptune, IWA, 20:00
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 - 11 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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