Fresh off their stunning SuperLeague Cup victory last weekend, Bord Gais Neptune will now be looking to mount a challenge for the Nivea For Mens SuperLeague crown as they play DCU Saints in Cork on Saturday night.
Meanwhile, the two teams directly ahead of Neptune, UL Eagles and UCC Demons, meet on Sunday afternoon at the Mardyke Arena in perhaps the biggest game to date in the 2012-13 season.
Elsewhere, the battle for fourth spot and a place in the Champions Trophy end-of-year competition heats up as Moycullen face UCD Marian while Dublin Inter play Killester. Moycullen and Inter then make it a double weekend for their sides as they meet in Galway on Sunday.
In the Nivea Womens SuperLeague, Liffey Celtics have the unenviable task taking on both DCU Mercy and Team Montenotte Hotel Cork over the weekends action while Ulster Rockets host Singleton SuperValu Brunell as Killester and Meteors play off in an all-Dublin derby game.
The two pre-season favourites UL Eagles and UCC Demons have controlled the top two positions in the Nivea For Mens SuperLeague from the very first weekend of action. This is their third meeting of 2012-13 with both teams having beaten each other once.
Presently tied on losses with just an extra game played and won by Eagles separating them in the table, a positive result for either team on Sunday will go a long way to determining the eventual champions.
This is a crucial game for both teams on Sunday next. It really is a must win for both of us, said Eagles head coach Mark Keenan, whose side lost to Bord Gais Neptune last weekend in the Mens SuperLeague Cup final.
We need to prove to ourselves that we can play better than what we showed last weekend in the cup final, so its game on for us.
While Demons head coach Paul Kelleher recognises the importance of the game, he said it would be disrespectful to the rest of the league to think that Sundays clash will decide the title.
Every team this year has been capable of beating everyone else. There will be another month of games and to think that the winner of Sunday has the league is disrespectful to all the other teams.
One team that certainly isnt handing over the league to Demons and Eagles are Bord Gais Neptune, who will be hoping momentum from last weekends cup victory can carry them to a win against DCU Saints on Saturday and put them in position to challenge for the league.
The one thing this team has is hunger and depth. A few seasons ago UCD Marian won the cup then didnt win a league game after that. That definitely wont be happening to us.
Just two games behind Eagles in the standings, the Neptune boss knows that a successful run-in would put his team in contention.
DCU will be a huge test. They have a great team but we have to win every home game if we are to challenge for the league. If we can win out, considering we have two games left against UL and one against Demons, I feel like it is still in our hands so to speak.
With the league title likely to land in either Cork or Limerick, the rest of the teams in the Nivea For Mens SuperLeague will be eyeing up fourth spot and a place in the end-of-season Champions Trophy.
Currently in fifth spot position and trailing DCU Saints by just one game, Killester will be eager to notch a win against a surging Dublin Inter outfit on Friday night at the National Basketball Arena.
Having quickly acclimatised to life in the Nivea For Mens SuperLeague, Dublin Inter are not out of making a run on fourth themselves and Killester head coach Tom Doherty is well aware of the threat they pose.
They ran Neptune close and have beaten Saints, Marian and Moycullen this year so they are an excellent, hard-working and tough team, said Doherty.
After the break in action for the cup, all the players want to play and the hunger is there to which will be important Friday night.
Another team with an eye on fourth place will be Moycullen of Galway. Their young side have faltered slightly of late and will need a strong finish to make the Champions Trophy. With two games this weekend against UCD Marian and then Dublin Inter, they have a perfect chance to rise up the table.
In the Nivea Womens SuperLeague the hunt for playoff spots is well and truly on as just two games separate five teams. While the top three of DCU Mercy, Team Montenotte Hotel Cork and UL Huskies all seem guaranteed of a play-off berth, only three out of Killester, Ulster Rockets, Singleton SuperValu Brunell, WIT Wildcats and Meteors will join them.
The meeting of Rockets and Brunell in Belfast on Saturday pits two of these teams against one another with both teams sitting on four wins and six losses so far.
Rockets head coach Breda Dick is hoping the fact that her side has not played a game since January will not be a hindrance.
A lot of the Brunell team were involved in the U20 National Cup win last weekend and will be on a high with that success. They are an excellent shooting side but I think we have the players to handle that and well have to use our height advantage to gain an edge.
The all-Dublin clash of Meteors and Killester Saturday night takes on increased significance as the two teams jostle for playoff spots.
In the last five meetings between the teams, I dont think that there has been more than four points between us and Saturday is likely to be the very same and come right down to the wire, said Meteors head coach Hugh Kilbride.
Its a crucial game for both of us and whoever loses is very likely to then miss playoffs so its a big game.
Elsewhere in the Nivea Womens SuperLeague Liffey Celtics, still searching for their first win of the season, face a daunting weekend schedule that has them playing both DCU Mercy and Team Montenotte Hotel Cork while champions UL Huskies enjoy a weekend off.
Basketball Ireland Upcoming Fixtures
Friday February 1st
Nivea For Men's SuperLeague
Dublin Inter v Killester, National Basketball Arena, 19:45
Saturday February 2nd
Nivea For Men's SuperLeague
Moycullen v UCD Marian, NUI Galway, 15:45; Bord Gais Neptune v DCU Saints, Neptune Stadium, 19:00
Nivea Womens SuperLeague
Ulster Rockets v Singleton SuperValu Brunell, De La Salle, 18:30 ; Meteors v Killester, Colaiste Iosagain, 19:00 ; Liffey Celtics v DCU Mercy, Leixlip Centre, 19:30
Basketball Ireland Men's Division One
Donegal Town v Templeogue Azzurri, CC Ballyshannon, 15:00 ; Maree v Team Garveys St Marys, Calasanctius College, 17:00 ; Fr Mathews v Team Left Bank Kilkenny, Colaiste Chriost Ri, 20:00
Basketball Ireland Women's Division One
NUIG Mystics v Portlaoise Panthers, NUI Galway, 13:30 ; Team Tom McCarthys St Marys v UL Huskies, Castleisland, 19:45 ; Brittons Insurance Donegal Town v Tralee Imperials, Abbey VS, 20:00
Sunday February 3rd
Nivea For Men's SuperLeague
UCC Demons v UL Eagles, Mardyke, 15:30 ; Moycullen v Dublin Inter, NUI Galway, 16:45
Nivea Womens SuperLeague
Team Montenotte Hotel Cork v Liffey Celtics, Upper Glanmire Sports Centre, 15:00
Basketball Ireland Men's Division One
Blue Demons v Fr Mathews, Mardyke, 13:00 ; Ulster Elks v Matt OFlahertys Chemists Titans, UUJ, 14:45
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
follow us on
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.
Copyright (c) 1998-2016 Eurobasket Inc. Disclaimer
Do not copy, redistribute, publish or otherwise exploit information that you download from the site !
Do not encumber, license, modify, publish, sell, transfer or transmit, or in any way exploit, any of the
content of the site, nor will you attempt to do so.