The National Cup semi-finals will be back in Cork next month.
After a hugely successful staging there twelve months ago, the Neptune Stadium and the Parochial Hall in Cork city will once again host the penultimate stage of Basketball Irelands National Cup competitions.
The decision was reached last night (TUE) after the National Events Committee, following due consideration of all the applications, unanimously opted to return to Cork. The National Cup semi-finals will take place from Friday January 11th to Sunday January 13th.
Last years cup semi-finals saw huge crowds pack out the two venues for the three days of competition. The basketball did not disappoint with games regularly providing dramatic finishes and breath-taking levels of skill as the best players from across Ireland took to the courts.
This year, the Neptune Stadium will host the Mens and Womens SuperLeague semi-finals as well as the U18, U20 and Senior Mens competitions. The Parochial Hall meanwhile will showcase the U18, U20 and Senior Womens semi-finals.
Neptune Basketball Club are very excited at the prospect of holding the National Cup semi-finals here at the stadium and look forward to what Im sure will be a very competitive weekend for all the teams involved, said Paul Barrett, secretary of Neptune Basketball Club.
One of the major highlights will be the meeting of bitter north Cork City rivals, Bord Gais Neptune and UCC Demons in the first Mens SuperLeague Cup semi-final on Friday night. The same fixture 12 months previously left the Neptune Stadium bulging as people packed every available space to witness the game.
With the teams separated by just two games in the Nivea For Mens SuperLeague and both sides in sparkling form this season, the matchup promises to be one to remember.
Friday nights action is completed with the second semi-final and the appearance of last years defending champions UL Eagles is sure to keep all in attendance glued to their seats.
Their challengers are UCD Marian, who produced one of the all-time great cup moments two years ago when they beat a much-fancied Killester team in the final. Their penchant for upsetting the form book adds another interesting twist to proceedings.
Saturday will then see the U18 mens and womens semi-finals held in the morning before the senior men and women take to the courts in the afternoon. That night, it is all eyes on the Womens SuperLeague Cup as defending champions UL Huskies take on WIT Wildcats before DCU Mercy and Montenotte Hotel Cork square off.
Sunday is the turn of the U20 men and women with the weekend finishing on a high note as both venues reopen their doors for the last four semi-finals. After that we will all know who is headed to Dublin and the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght for the last weekend in January and a shot at cup glory.
Basketball Ireland National Cup Semi Finals 2013
Friday, January 11th 2013
Neptune Stadium Basketball Ireland Mens SuperLeague National Cup Semi Final UCC Demons v Bord Gais Neptune, 19:00 UL Eagles (Limerick) v UCD Marian (Dublin), 21:00
Saturday, January 12th 2013
Neptune Stadium Basketball Ireland U18 Mens National Cup Semi Final Neptune (Cork) v Moycullen (Galway), 10:00 St. Vincents (Dublin) v Belfast Star (Belfast), 12:00
Basketball Ireland Senior Mens National Cup Semi Final Team Garveys St. Marys (Kerry) v Killester (Dublin), 14:00 Blue Demons (Cork) v St. Brendans (Kerry), 16:00
Basketball Ireland Womens SuperLeague National Cup Semi Final UL Huskies (Limerick) v WIT Wildcats (Waterford), 18:00 DCU Mercy (Dublin) v Team Montenotte Hotel Cork, 20:00
Basketball Ireland U18 Womens National Cup Semi Final Brunell (Cork) v Oblate Dynamos (Dublin), 10:00 DCU Mercy (Dublin) v Glanmire (Cork), 12:00
Basketball Ireland Senior Womens National Cup Semi Final NUIG Mystics (Galway) v Oblate Dynamos (Dublin), 14:00 Tralee Imperials (Kerry) v Team Tom McCarthys St. Marys (Kerry), 16:00
Sunday, January 13th 2013
Neptune Stadium Basketball Ireland U20 Mens National Cup Semi Final Belfast Star (Belfast) v Killester (Dublin), 10:30 Templeogue Azzurri (Dublin) v Ballincollig (Cork), 12:30
Parochial Hall Basketball Ireland U20 Womens National Cup Semi Final Meteors (Dublin) v Brunell (Cork), 10:30 DCU Mercy (Dublin) v Killester (Dublin), 12:30
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 - 13 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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