The 2012-13 National League season gets underway this weekend when Nivea For Mens SuperLeague newcomers, Dublin Inter, open their campaign against last seasons beaten finalists DCU Saints at the National Basketball Arena. Some of the other highlights include reigning champions UL Eagles trip to Cork to take on Bord Gais Neptune, while Killester and Moycullen face tough tests against UCD Marian and UCC Demons respectively. This season the Nivea For Mens SuperLeague welcomes a new team, Dublin Inter, formerly Ballon Basketball Club. Dublin Inter will boost a variety of international players as their squad hails from countries such as Estonia, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. Speaking about their promotion into the Nivea For Mens SuperLeague and the opportunity to compete with the countrys finest teams, Head Coach, Audrius Jonusas said, It is a dream to have Dublin Inter entering into the highest level of competition in Ireland and playing at the top level. Both our players and coaching staff are excited for our first game this weekend. Our aim this season is to at least finish in the top four. We do not want other teams to see us as an easy target this year as we will be seen as the newcomers so we will search for a win this weekend to prove that. DCU Saints Head Coach, Dave Donnelly is also very excited to get the season started after a mixed pre-season journey. Over the course of the last few weeks our pre-season has been slightly varied, we picked up one or two injuries and lost Kevin Lacey. We will also only have Martins Provizors for some part of the season due to injury. We are however delighted to see Mark Nagle return from his injury and to see Keith Anderson, who we thought was staying in Australia, come back for the season! Having the guys back is a great boost for the squad. DCU Saints will add more experience to their side this year as Joey McGuirk comes back up to play SuperLeague. Donnelly continued to enthuse, We are all really looking forward to playing Dublin Inter this weekend. We know they get a great crowd in. Im confident our bench can run 9/10 players deep so we are hoping to be a competitive force once again this year. Reigning League and Cup Champions, UL Eagles look set to start their season strong after they edged out the EFBL Lithuanian XL All Star team in an international friendly game last Sunday. They will travel to Cork this weekend to take on Bord Gais Neptune. Coach Mark Keenan will return to the Limerick side after an extremely successful opening season with the Eagles. There is a great positive attitude here in UL coming off our win in the Arena last weekend to the Lithuanian All Star team. It was an intense game which put us in the right frame of mind for this weekends season opening game. said Keenan. He continued, However, you can never rule out Neptune at home, we both will want to start the season with a win and as we enter the game as double champions from last years success Im sure we are the team to beat. Killester will welcome Dublin rivals UCD Marian to Greendale. Not only will the game host a Dublin derby but it will also see UCD Marians new head coach, Sasa Punosevac return to face a team he once coached to success. Sasa is already well known in Irish basketball circles having coached Super League teams in Killester, Limerick and Neptune and at many basketball camps throughout the country. Most recently he has worked with Al Hala in Bahrain, he guided the team to Bahrain SuperCup Final and also celebrated the Premier League title with the team. Sasa has also worked with the Reading Rockets and was at helm of Irish Women's National Team in 2007. Speaking about his new appointment, Sasa stated. I look forward to building on the progress of the past few years in UCD Marian by further developing each of the players. UCD have some of the best young players in the country and I am excited to work with them this season.
Moycullen will face UCC Demons in their first game of the season as the Galway side welcomes their new signing, Patrick Sullivan (22), from New Jersey. The 6-foot, 7-inch forward was ranked third in the NESCAC in scoring with 17.4 points per game last season. Sullivan was also the 2010-11 Liberty League offensive player of the year and he finished his college career ranked ninth on the program's all-time scoring list with 1,439 points.
Basketball Ireland SuperLeague National Cup Draw 2012/13
Nivea For Mens SuperLeague Cup Quarter Final - 8th/9th Dec
UL Eagles v Killester Moycullen v UCD Marian DCU Saints v UCC Demons Bord Gais Neptune v Dublin Inter Courtesy .... BasketballIreland.
With 8 teams competing in this years Superleague possibly the biggest news is that earlier plans to have teams have 2 import players per team (http://www.irishexaminer.com/archives/2012/0602/sport/plans-afoot-for-return-of-two-americans-on-court-196111.html) as opposed to 1 of last season do not appear to have materialised.This weekends opening round of games will too see the introduction of a new team Ballon who I expect given their recent pre season performances have a 50/50 chance to defeat last seasons second placed team Dcu Saints (playing at the National Arena Ballon will effectively be at home there for the season,s campaign).Moycullen are at home to Demons who have recruited Delwan Graham on whom the team will have traditional high expectations of at both ends of the floor.Moycullen have replaced Luke Enos with Patrick Sullvan out of Hamilton College and will go also with player /coach Salva Camps.Demons will not have the services of top point guard Kyle hosford of last season though should still have enough strength and depth from last season to defeat Moycullen.Killester have signed Puff Summers to partner Jermaine Turner with Neptune signing Darren Townes (Hosfra) who played last season in Portugal with Galitos F.C.
The Division 1 Competitition tips off this weekend with the following fixtures : Donegal town V Dublin Thunder Fr Matthews V Maree Team Left Bank Kilkenny V Blue Demons Templeogue v Ulster Elks Team Garvey,s St Marys V Titans.
Brian Clernon will coach Garvey,s this season who continue to play out of the Castleisland Community Centre with Kieran O Doherty pulling the strings at Fr Matthews.who have signed Spanish guard Ruben Patino formerly of Compania de Maria. Fr Matthews are new this season to National Competition and with a solid core of youth teams competing successfully the past few years at Cork County Basketball board,s competitions and national youth competitions can expect to make steady progress this season.
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 - 8 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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