As the Nivea For Mens SuperLeague enters the sixth weekend of fixtures, league standings begin to take more presentence than they did previously. With teams continuing to improve and finding more composure as a unit, the games are becoming closer with every minute to play for.
With last weekends action providing upsets and tight finishing score lines this weekend will see teams trying to pull away and separate themselves from the others to become real title contenders.
This weekend in the Nivea For Mens SuperLeague will see Moycullen travel to Dublin to take on UCD Marian. With the Galway side yet to win a game this season, all eyes will be on them as they look to gain some momentum.
Speaking about the challenge at hand, Head Coach of Moycullen, Salva Camps said, It is important for us to get a win as soon as we can in order to build confidence within the team.
Salva continued to detail the objectives of his team in order for them to win, We need to concentrate for the full 40 minutes while bringing 100% effort defensively.
UCD Marian enters the game coming off a tough loss at home to UL Eagles last weekend.
Looking for a positive result, Sasa Punosevac their Head Coach said, It is essential that we win this game. This match up will be a preview of the quarter finals of the National Cup as we are set to play each other so it is important that we come away with the points.
UL Eagles are set to take on newcomers, Dublin Inter, in the UL Arena this Saturday evening after they returned to their winning ways last weekend with an impressive team performance over UCD Marian on the road.
Speaking about his side, Mark Keenan, Head Coach of UL Eagles is happy with their recent result, I am delighted with our performance last weekend and happy that we are back on form. Hopefully it will give us the momentum we need going up against Dublin Inter.
Mark continued to comment on the newcomers, Dublin Inter started very strong with a great season opener but they seem to have slipped slightly as they have not had a full squad for their games. If they have a full team this weekend it will be a very difficult game for us. We cannot take them for granted and be complacent entering this game as they will catch us off guard.
Sunday will see current top of the table holders, UCC Demons welcome Killester to the Mardyke Arena in Cork.
With the rebels looking to continue their current success, Head Coach, Paul Kelleher and Coach of the Month for October, is adamant that there is plenty of room for improvement, We need to take our game to a new level from our last few performances. A win is a win but we would rather not let a game be decided by the final few seconds on the clock and try pull away earlier.
However, Kelleher paid tribute to the Dublin side, Killester are definitely being overlooked this season. If we allow them to get on a roll this weekend they will be dangerous. We need to be on our guard as their perimeter players like Eoin Chubb have been consistent throughout while their point is run with composure under the watchful eye of Puff Summers.
Darren ONeill, Head Coach of Killester is excited for the game ahead, It is a tough proposition coming up against a team that has yet to be beaten but we do believe that we can get a result down there. We have trained hard and are prepared going into the game.
ONeill continued, We havent hit the ground running as we are still shorthanded without some players. We are currently in a win lose sequence and if that is anything to go by we are due a win this weekend! We had great results down in Cork against Demons last year so we are looking to build from that.
Dubliners, DCU Saints will also take on Bord Gais Neptune in DCU Sports Complex this Sunday. DCU are coming into the game after a difficult to swallow loss against UCC Demons. The Saints missed out on beating Demons when they failed to convert their last offence and lost by 1 last weekend.
Bord Gais Neptune seems to have found a rhythm in their camp as they come away from their last two games successful. Having started the season slow the Cork side seem to have got themselves back on track.
Head Coach, Mark Scannell is happy with the teams current state, We had a good win last weekend against Moycullen. Now coming up against DCU, will be difficult.
Scannell understands the pressure his team will face and the quality of basketball that will be produced, They are the runners up from last year and have been playing great basketball so we need to play hard to come away with a result. We have prepared well and are looking forward to the challenge.
Basketball Ireland Upcoming Fixtures
Saturday November 3rd 2012
Nivea For Mens SuperLeague
UCD Marian v Moycullen, UCD, 19:10; UL Eagles v Dublin Inter, UL Arena, 19:30;
Basketball Ireland Mens Division One
Maree v Team Left Bank Kilkenny, Calsanctius College, 17:00; Donegal Town v Ballon BC, Abbey VS, 19:00;
Sunday, November 4th 2012
Nivea For Mens SuperLeague
UCC Demons v Killester, Mardyke, 15:30; DCU Saints v Bord Gais Neptune, DCU Complex, 16:00;
Basketball Ireland Mens Division One
Blue Demons v Donegal Town, Mardyke, 13:00; Ulster Elks v Team Garveys St Marys,UUJ, 14:00; Ballon BC v Templeogue Azzurri, Palmerstown, 14:30;
Keenan selected as coach of Irish Mens SuperLeague Select Team
UL Eagles Mark Keenan has been named as head coach of the Irish Mens SuperLeague Select Team for 2012-13.
Keenan is now charged with picking and preparing a team of Nivea For Mens SuperLeague players to compete against the best the British Basketball League (BBL) has to offer in a highly anticipated exhibition game in January of next year.
The decision to appoint Keenan was made by the Senior Games Management Board (SGMB) and International Affairs Committee after an open invitation for applications was announced earlier this year.
The game, which is set for Sunday, January 13th 2013 at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, will take place the morning of the BBL Cup final, a highlight of the British sporting calendar every year.
I am delighted to be selected, its a real honour and very exciting, said Keenan.
Its a great challenge to take on our closest rival and friends over in Britain but I think I have a great pool of talent to pick from in the SuperLeague and am looking forward to going to Birmingham and representing Ireland as best we can.
Kennan is no stranger to representing his country and is the second most capped Irish player ever with 69 competitive international caps. He captained Ireland to a memorable Promotions Cup title on home soil in 1994.
After an illustrious career with Corinthians and St Vincents in the domestic league, the 5-6 Dubliner is now enjoying life as a coach and has won three consecutive league titles with Killester and UL Eagles, who last season won the cup and league double in his first year with the club.
Keenan has coached at Irish u20 and at senior international level and has been named as Irish coach of the year on three occasions.
Joining Keenan on the coaching panel for the Irish Superleague Select Team will be Jerome Westbrooks, who will assume the role of assistant coach.
Westbrooks, who is originally from Chicago, Illinois, came to Ireland as an American player in the early 1980s and quickly established himself as one of the great players in the Irish game. He played for the Irish senior mens team from 1991 to 1996 and was an instrumental part of the team that captured the Promotions Cup, going on to be named the Irish International Player of the Year.
Westbrooks involvement in the Irish game has gone well beyond just playing. He was previously an assistant coach with the Irish senior mens team and has gone on to coach numerous schools teams in both boys and girls to All Ireland titles. Westbrooks has been named Irish Schools Coach of the Year three times, most recently in 2011.
Team manager for the squad will be UL Eagles manager John King while Basketball Ireland president Gerry Kelly will travel as head of delegation.
Chairperson of the SGMB, Pat Duffy said that he was delighted to be able to announce a coach of Keenans calibre as coach of the team.
The SGMB is delighted with the appointment of Mark Keenan and a strong support team. This fixture adds a new and important dimension to the Men's SuperLeague and it will provide the best players in the League with the opportunity to represent the country at a level that is just below full international senior level.
This is part of the on-going strategy to consolidate and further develop the League and we look forward to a strong performance in Birmingham in January.
Tickets are already on sale for the big event in January and selling quickly, so book now to support the finest SuperLeague players as they face their English counterparts. The public can find more information about purchasing tickets on the Basketball Ireland website at basketballireland.ie.
Schedule for January 13th, 2013 at the National Indoor Arena, Birmingham
12.00pm Doors open
12.30pm England Select v Ireland SuperLeague Select
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 - 12 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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