January may be best known in Irish basketball for the magic of the cup but this weekends Nivea SuperLeague results will undoubtedly have huge bearing come March.
With just a point separating UL Eagles and UCC Demons atop the Nivea For Mens SuperLeague table both teams will need to overcome resurgent teams in DCU Saints and Killester. Meanwhile, Bord Gais Neptune will look to continue their recent run of good form when Moycullen come to town while UCD Marian and Dublin Inter round off the weekends action in the men.
Speaking ahead of their crucial tie with Killester, UCC Demons head coach Paul Kelleher praised the response from his players following a heart-breaking Cork derby loss to bitter rivals Bord Gais Neptune in the cup semi-final.
We talked about it for a few minutes on training Monday night and then we put it behind us. I though the application and attitude of the players was fantastic and a testament to their character.
We have one focus now and only one focus and that is Saturday night in the IWA Centre in Clontarf and getting a result against Killester, said Kelleher.
While they will be favourites, Demons were almost upstaged on their last journey to the capital as UCD Marian, without the services of their American player, came within a single basket of the Cork outfit.
The last meeting between these two sides was packed with side-stories as Killester introduced a new coach and new American player in Tom Doherty and Michael Bonaparte. Inspired by these additions to the team, Killester went on to stun Demons and will be hopeful that the matchup problems they caused that day will once again bear fruit this weekend.
In Limerick, a very similar storyline is present for the contest between defending champions UL Eagles and DCU Saints. The previous meeting between the teams saw Saints pull off a major upset and head coach Dave Donnelly is well aware that a superb performance will be needed this time around to avoid suffering from an inevitable Eagles backlash.
We did get a good result against them last time out but it will be a huge ask to go to Limerick and win and we know that. They are clearly one of the best teams, they are top of the league and in the cup final, said Donnelly.
Donnelly, who has seen a resurgence in form from his team after a shaky start was refusing to be drawn into how high up the table Saints can finish.
It has been a really topsy-turvy season and we need to just continue taking it one game at a time, play well and hopefully that will leave us in a good position by the end of the season.
While the two table-toppers are on court in Dublin and Limerick this weekend, their closest challenger, Bord Gais Neptune will be hosting Moycullen of Galway in Cork. Neptune currently lie two games off top spot and cannot afford any mistakes as the season nears its end.
Moycullen head coach Salva Camps is well aware that his young outfit will be facing a focused and currently in-form team in Neptune.
They won a big game last week in the cup semi-final against Demons and will be very confident. To win we will need to contain their centre Darren Townes who really hurt us last time out as well as stop Ger Noonan from getting down the lane whenever he wants.
The only other game on the schedule this weekend is an all-Dublin affair as UCD Marian and Dublin Inter square off in Belfield.
Boosted by the signing of Thomas Viglianco, Marian came agonisingly close to winning their cup semi-final last weekend only to be thwarted by a late UL Eagles rally.
Heading into this weekends games, UCD Marian guard Conor James is hoping the addition of Viglianco continues to see improved Marian performances.
As well as being a lights out shooter, Thomas is incredible at getting his team mates involved so he didnt have to make much of transition to fit in with our team, said James.
Despite being at the lower end of the Nivea For Mens SuperLeague table, Marian proved last weekend that they are still capable of beating any team in the counry.
The mood in camp is very good and we are starting to play with a lot of freedom. There isnt a whole lot of pressure on us anymore and we tend to play better playing as a team who has nothing to lose, said James.
The standout fixture in the Nivea Womens SuperLeague this weekend is without doubt the mouth-watering all Cork tie between a young up-and-coming Singleton SuperValu Brunell squad and the established top team Leeside, Team Montenotte Hotel Cork.
This is the Demons Neptune game for us. There has been a great rivalry between the teams and everyone is fit and ready to go for Sunday, said Brunell head coach Kieran OLeary.
We are obviously at somewhat of a disadvantage physically to them just because we are so much younger so playing tought defence and forcing them to shoot from outside will be crucial for us if we are going to win, OLeary went on to say.
Elsewhere in the Nivea Womens SuperLeague there is a an all-Dublin clash Clontarf as Killester tak on a DCU Mercy team that will be trying to recover from a deflating cup semi-final loss last weekend.
In Limerick, defending champions UL Huskies will be favourites to get the win against Liffey Celtics while Meteors and WIT Widlcats play out what looks like being a close affair in Colaiste Iosagain.
Basketball Ireland Upcoming fixtures
Saturday January 19th
Nivea For Men's SuperLeague
Killester v UCC Demons, IWA Clontarf, 18:00 ; UCD Marian v Dublin Inter, UCD Sports Complex, 19:10 ; Bord Gais Neptune v Moycullen, Neptune Stadium, 19:30 ; UL Eagles v DCU Saints, UL Arena, 19:30
Nivea Womens SuperLeague
UL Huskies v Liffey Celtics, UL Arena, 17:00 ; Meteors v WIT Wildcats, Colaiste Iosagain, 19:00 ; Killester v DCU Mercy, I.W.A Clontarf, 20:00
Basketball Ireland Men's Division One
Matt OFlaherty Chemists Titans v Fr Mathews, Renmore, 19:00 ; Templeogue Azzurri v Maree, Oblate Hall Inchicore, 19:00 ; Team Garveys St Marys v Team Left Bank Kilkenny, Castleisland, 19:45
Basketball Ireland Women's Division One
UL Huskies v Portlaoise Panthers, UL Arena, 14:30
Sunday January 20th
Nivea Womens SuperLeague
Singleton SuperValu Brunell v Team Montenotte Hotel Cork, Parochial Hall Cork, 14:45
Basketball Ireland Women's Division One
Oblate Dynamos v Team Tom McCarthys St Marys, Oblate Hall Inchicore, 13:30
Aer Lingus provides special airfares for guests attending the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic Mar 3, 2017, 12:00 PM | VICTORY SCHOLARS Jericho, New York, March 3, 2017 -- Aer Lingus, Irelands only 4 Star airline, has today announced special airfares for those traveling to the Emerald Isle for The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic, a college basketball tournament held in conjunction with the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Sport Chang... [read more]
Aer Lingus provides special airfares for guests attending the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic Mar 3, 2017, 12:00 PM | VICTORY SCHOLARS
Jericho, New York, March 3, 2017 -- Aer Lingus, Irelands only 4 Star airline, has today announced special airfares for those traveling to the Emerald Isle for The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic, a college basketball tournament held in conjunction with the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Sport Changes Life, Rory McIllroys Foundation, the Rory Foundation, and The SSE Arena, Belfast. The tournament, which will take place on December 1st and 2nd, will feature Holy Cross vs. Manhattan College and La Salle University vs. Towson University. As the official airline of the Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic, it's our privilege to not only fly the teams to the tournament, but also the loyal fans, who will travel across the Atlantic to show their support, said Jack Foley, Aer Lingus Executive Vice President, North America. We look forward to offering guests a warm welcome on board our flights. Special fares are available from across Aer Lingus East Coast transatlantic network of Boston (BOS); Hartford (BDL); New York (JFK and EWR), and Washington D.C. (IAD) for outbound travel to Ireland between November 17 and November 30, and return flights between December 3 and December 10, 2017. Roundtrip fares, inclusive of taxes and fees are as follows: From JFK, EWR, BDL $469* From BOS $479* From IAD $559* These fares are available exclusively through Aer Lingus Emerald Exclusives Desk, which operates Monday through Friday 9:30am 4:30 pm EST. They can be reached via telephone at 1-877-351-6665.
Killorglinhas won Cork Mens Basketball Board Boys U17 Billy Kelly Tournament after defeating Moycullen 53-52 in the final on 15-Apr-2017 in the Parochial Hall, Gurranabraher. Killorglinwere Pool 1 winners after the first day of the tournament. On the second day they defeated Templeogue and Blue Demons on the way to the final. Neptune was stopped byMoycullen at semi-final stage. It was a dramatic end of the final game of an excellent tournament having been down by two points with 10 secondsto play Killorglin tookthe win. From : www.corkbasketball.com
Congratulations toMoycullen BC on winning Boys U16A All Ireland Club Championship in Cork. Moycullen defeated Belfast Star 31-18 in the final game of the Championship on 23d of April 2017 in the Parochial Hall. Pool 3 winners Moycullen defeated Gneeveguilla in the first semi-final while Belfast were victorious over Corks Blue Demons. Blue Demons took the 3rd position in the overall ranking with Ballincollig taking the 5th. Well done to both Corks club. From : www.corkbasketball.com
Cork Celts last evening won The Cork County Basketball Board's Div 1 League Title for the second consecutive season Defeating Ballincollig.
Anthony Thompson (178-PG)
Donaghy the star as Tralee Warriors crowned Men's Champions Trophy champions - 28 days ago
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Kieran Donaghy (198-G/F-83) was the star of the show in Letterkenny today as Tralee swooped home to glory and scooped the silverware in the final of the Basketball Ireland Men's Champions Trophy. It was a thrilling finale in Donegal as Donaghy drove down the court and laid the ball up in style to send another epic battle with Regular Season champions, Templeogue, to overtime (66-66). That last gasp bucket was just one story of many that can be told from today's game, with Jason Killeen (2... [read more]
Kieran Donaghy (198-G/F-83) was the star of the show in Letterkenny today as Tralee swooped home to glory and scooped the silverware in the final of the Basketball Ireland Men's Champions Trophy. It was a thrilling finale in Donegal as Donaghy drove down the court and laid the ball up in style to send another epic battle with Regular Season champions, Templeogue, to overtime (66-66). That last gasp bucket was just one story of many that can be told from today's game, with Jason Killeen (211-C-85, college: Augusta) shining brightest for Templeogue in one of the closest Men's Super League clashes of the year. The story, however, lies with Tralee and the glory of their achievement and it is one that will be told for many years to come. From Donaghy to Trae Pemberton (193-G-92, college: Maryville, MO) - a guard who has dazzled for the Kingdom throughout the season - to Goran Pantovic (208-F-91, college: Drexel), the team worked as a unit throughout and managed to hold on in the dying seconds to add another page to the history books. It was Pemberton who stepped up to the mark with 7.8 seconds on the clock in overtime as they trailed Templeogue 73-70 and as hearts dropped around the court when his first effort did not find the mark, Donaghy was on hand for the offensive rebound to feed Pemberton once more and he made no mistake second time of asking to tie it yet again, 73-73. With double overtime looming, Donaghy had the final say of the game, adding a free throw in the dying seconds and it was with bated breath for all of Kerry as they watched the clock tick down in agonizing fashion. Courtesy of: basketballireland.ie
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