As the fourth week of the Nivea For Mens SuperLeague kicks off, the first game on the agenda will see Dublin Inter welcome Killester to the National Basketball Arena on Friday night.
Coming off the back of two tough defeats, Dublin Inter Head Coach, Audrius Jonusas, is looking forward to the support of their home crowd. We are excited for what should be a great encounter. It has been difficult to come away from the last two games unsuccessful but we are looking forward to proving that we can compete in the SuperLeague.
Jonusas continued, At the moment we are just training once a week due to players working commitments and travel. I have respect for all of the teams we compete against but we are looking for a win this weekend to get us back on track.
Killester also suffered a disappointing result last weekend when they fell at home to northside rivals DCU Saints.
Speaking about the result Darren ONeill Head Coach of Killester admitted, It was a tough loss last weekend. In the third quarter we only managed to score 4 points which just wasnt enough. We feel slightly undermanned without the aid of Jermaine Turner so we need to play hard this weekend and come out strong to get the win.
However, ONeill is confident in his side saying, On our night we are as good as anyone.
Saturday evening will see Moycullen take on Bord Gais Neptune in NUIG Kingfisher. This game will also see two teams that suffered downfalls last weekend meet, so all is to play for.
Moycullen Head Coach, Salva Camps welcomes the home fixture for his young side, With this weekends game at home we need to use that to our advantage and hopefully play well for our dedicated home crowd.
Camps paid credit to Bord Gais Neptunes experience and strong inside game but is confident that the encounter will be an exciting one as they enter the game with a full squad.
Likewise Bord Gais Neptune will be eager to return to the league this week in full force as they missed out on a win last weekend when they were beaten by two points by Cork rivals UCC Demons.
Speaking about his team, Head Coach Mark Scannell said, Its been a hard few weeks for us having lost three very close games that could have gone either way. Were getting their though and preparing well for this weekends game.
Scannell admitted, Moycullen is not an easy place to win and we know that first hand from our encounter their last season. Both teams are looking for their first win of the season so we have to put it all out there.
Local bragging rights are up for grabs in DCU Sports Complex on Saturday night as DCU Saints take on UCD Marian. Both teams are coming into the game off a successful weekend so will look to maintain their winning ways.
DCU Saints Head Coach, David Donnelly is looking forward to the clash, Our game against UCD Marian will be an exciting one for us. We are both levelled with two wins and one loss so it will be a tough game. They play a very high intensive defensive game and we need to prepare for that.
Donnelly continued, I am happy with our performance last weekend, we are getting better each week but know that if we are to win this weekend we need to play hard.
UCD Marian Head Coach, Sasa Punosevac echoed Donnellys views, Both teams are playing very similar basketball this season so the game will be an interesting one. Our defensive game is aggressive and offensively our inside players are scoring great numbers for us.
Punosevac admired DCU Saints and their coaching staff, I have full respect for Donnelly and what he achieved last season, DCU have two dominate foreign players but their Irish guards are also very experienced. It should be an interesting game!
In Limerick, UL Eagles will face UCC Demons as both teams go into the game undefeated after 3 rounds of the league. The Eagles and Demons rivalry has seen a number of great games in recent years and Saturday should add another entry to that list. And, whilst it is early days in a long league campaign only one team can remain undefeated after this game.
Head Coach of UL Eagles Mark Keenan said, This is the type of game you look forward to in basketball with both teams keen to preserve their winning run. Naturally I want UL Eagles to win and I believe we can do that provided we bring our top game with us on the night.
Keenan continued, Both teams will unsurprisingly enter the top of the table game with confidence, hopefully there will be a great crowd there from both side to witness this battle!
Paul Kelleher Head Coach of UCC Demons is looking forward to the task at hand, UL are huge inside so we will need to maintain a strong fixture on both defence and offense. We are in good form and so are they but we will need to be at our best defensively to put a stop to them. That will in turn give us the confidence on the other end of the floor offensively.
Friday October 19th Nivea For Men's Superleague Dublin Inter v Killester, National Basketball Arena, 19:45
Saturday October 20th Nivea For Men's Superleague Moycullen v Bord Gais Neptune, NUI Galway, 15:45 DCU Saints v UCD Marian, DCU Complex, 19:00 UL Eagles v UCC Demons, UL Arena, 19:30
Mens Senior National Cup Neptune v Ulster Elks, Neptune Stadium, 17:15
U20 Mens National Cup Kubs v UCC Demons, Carrolls Arena, 19:30 St. Brendans v Maree, Mercy Mounthawk, 19:30
Mens Senior National Cup Blue Demons v Ballon BC, Mardyke, 15:15
U20 Mens National Cup Neptune v Fr. Mathews, Neptune Stadium, 14:00 Courtesy Elaine Caffery ....www.basketballireland.ie ....................................................................................................................................................... With round 4 of the men,s superleague scheduled for this weekend a point of note to date is the apparent lack of progress in terms of a return to 2 Americans per superleague team as was spotlighted in the media here a few months ago http://www.irishexaminer.com/archives/2012/0602/sport/plans-afoot-for-return-of-two-americans-on-court-196111.html .The critical issue in terms of growing the game here is an improvement in the product and to do this effectively a return to 2 americans is a must on the to do list.with the amount of talented wannabee pro players looking for an opportunity any opportunity to get a foot in the door of the pro ladder and launch themselves it,s not rocket science to put things together and facilitate this move given we are dealing with 8 teams and not 28 though for an effective strategy the principals should be the same.The emerging pattern regarding contenders even at this early stage already Last years Superleague and cup double winners U.L. Lions together with Cork,s U.C.C. Blue Demons are 3 for 3 each and likely to provide the most entertaining and competitive game at U.L. tomorrow evening with U.L. on their form of last season and with the home advantage the more likely team to secure the league points.Crucial here will though be the defensive assignments with both Killeen and Taylor capable of guarding Demon,s Graham probably equally though to spread any foul difficulties U.L. would do well to allow themselves to swith defensive assignments on Graham as both players can get into difficulty with fouls without adequate defensive pressure and help approach.Carlton cuffe now too back from U.L. with Demons with whom he played all his youth level basketball will be very familiar with U.L.,s team unit and it can give him an edge towards matching his high points tally against Neptune at the stadium last Friday night.the major difficulty for Demons can possibly be being competitive on the boards to keep U.L.from getting their running game going and also to limit killeen to as few put backs at the other end as possible.Demons will need a legetimate perimeter scoring game going to have Graham be effective with his inside game and to this end Niall O Reilly will need to up his percentage a degree or two to return to that of the level he achieved against Dublin inter a couple of weeks ago.Momentum critical to success in this now revised league top finishers implies league winners is the reward for which ever team comes out on top here saturday night.The Neptune / Moycullen game will probably give Neptune it,s first points this season given the narrow loss margins conceded to date in the 3 opening games and the fact the team will have learned to better conserve the energy levels of the more mature players,this said though not having a deep bench with experience may be difficult against a moycullen team capable of making capital of any team,s shortcomings with their scoring power.My guess here again is Neptune to win though by a very small margin.The Killester / Dublin Inter game given both teams performances to date also looks to be a very close affair and get,s underway tonight at the Tallagh Arena a venue which effectively will give Inter little home advantage though looking at them recently playing Demons they do have enough talent to compete to win if they can be more productive with their perimeter shooting.The biggest issue for Inter is availability of the panel of players for game nights.Killester for their part will be very hungry for points at this stage in an effort to remain in contention even again at this early stage of competition.This weekend,s final matchup is between DCU Saints and UCD Marian also tomorrow night and the outcome will decide possibly a further evening off of the individual teams positioning in the points ladder with one team closing in on the top and one team drifting a little but not too far.i expect a low scoring dogfight affair both teams focusing on defence and again very little between the teams by the time the final whistle is blown. John Galvin (203-F-88, college: Fair Dickinson)
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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