As the final curtain falls on the Nivea For Mens SuperLeague, this weekend will see the last of the regular season games played out across the country.
In particular, DCU Saints will find themselves battling for the fourth position on the league table that will also guarantee them the final spot for a semi-final playoff for the elite Champions Trophy. Elsewhere in the Nivea For Mens SuperLeague top three teams will look to use this weekend as preparation for the new competition while others look to finish the 2012-2013 season on a high.
The action will start tonight in the Nivea Mens SuperLeague when DCU Saints welcome Dublin Inter to Glasnevin. Both teams are one-a-piece going into the clash so all is to play for.
Speaking about his side, head coach of DCU Saints, David Donnelly, said, We have been in good form recently, winning both of our last two games on the bounce.
Inter have been shooting very well lately so we know we need to close down their guards on the perimeter. The last game went into over-time too so we need a big performance tonight.
Dublin Inters head coach, Irmantas Griskas understands how close this contest will be, There is nothing between both teams. DCU are probably our biggest rivals so I know we may enter the game a little nervous but we are determined to prove that we can take them.
Moving into the weekend both teams will take to the floor again as they are booked for double weekends.
For the northsiders, DCU, will take on UCC Demons. Only last week the Dubliners overcame the Cork side when they finished on a score-line of 73-80. However, this weekend the game holds greater significance as DCU must win one of their games to qualify and compete in the Champions Trophy semi-finals.
Donnelly once again stressed the importance of the teams focus, We know we need a win and the opportunity to compete in the Champions Trophy has given us the incentive to do so.
We will treat each game in isolation, maintain our efforts and look to finish strong.
As Demons have already secured their semi-final draw against cork rivals, Bord Gais Neptune, this game will give them the opportunity to change their momentum of late and record a win on the road.
Paul Kelleher, head coach of UCC Demons said, Weve had a lot of setbacks recently between players being injured, ill or having working commitments. Unfortunately, this weekend, well be going without Niall Murphy after he left the game injured last week.
However, we are eager to get back on track and back to the consistent team that I know we can be. We are lacking confidence but we wont let anything interfere. We want to win our next three games and the positive atmosphere around the team tells me we can do it.
Elsewhere, Dublin Inters second game of the weekend will see them challenge Killester in the I.W.A. Clontarf.
Griskas attitude is much the same entering this game as it is for the DCU Saints clash, We are one-a-piece with Killester also, so we know we can take this game.
This weekend we want to prove to everyone that we will not be pushed around and will finish the season strong. Our aim is to win both games and to make it difficult for our opponents to try and take us on.
Meanwhile, if DCU were to drop both games this weekend, it would give Killester the opportunity to slip through the cracks and nab the fourth position once they secure their home win.
Killesters head coach, Tom Doherty, said, We want to focus on winning this weekend, everything else is out of our hands.
Inter are an excellent team that have really excelled this season so we will have a close game.
Our lads are working hard and we want to finish the season on a high at home so Saturday night is a big one for us.
In Galway, Moycullen will take on Bord Gais Neptune as they look to finish their most successful season to date in the SuperLeague with a win.
Head coach of Moycullen, Salva Camps, said, We may have been knocked out of the race for the Champions Trophy last weekend but Saturday is still a huge game for us. Its the last game of the season and its on our home court. Well want to play with heart to thank the supporters who have been behind us all year and also to reward ourselves as a team for all the work weve put in since August.
Neptune play with great speed and try to get up and down the court quick but that wont scare us too much. We have a young team and should be able to run with them, we just need to make sure we keep our concentration and dont let them leak out for easy scores on the break too often.
Mark Scannell, Bord Gais Neptunes head coach is excited for his side, We want to win, to give us a chance to tie the second spot with Demons if they lose. It would be a great achievement for us considering other peoples expectations at the start of the season.
I am very proud of the team for everything that they have achieved this season, especially the National Cup title.
Over the last few weeks a lot of our younger boys have earned more court time and they have been coming up trumps. This weekend I want to increase their time and enter the Champions Trophy with a win to give us momentum.
We have respect for Moycullen and know what they are capable of at home so we need to hit the ground running against them.
Meanwhile League Winners, UL Eagles will take on a resilient UCD Marian who saw the better of them only two weeks previous.
Speaking about the game, UL Eagles assistant coach, Mike Hickey said, This is an important game for us in preparation for the semi-final next weekend.
We left a bit behind us when we played them last and we know that once we focus on our defence this time around we can secure the win.
Donaghy the star as Tralee Warriors crowned Men's Champions Trophy champions - 22 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
Templeogue and Tralee reach Champions Trophy Final - 23 days ago
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Templeogue and Tralee Warriors advanced into the Champions Trophy Final. They earned victories in the respective semifinals on Saturday. Tralee Warriors nipped Swords Thunder 66:64. Trae Pemberton (193-G-92, college: Maryville, MO) provided 24 points and 8 rebounds to pace the winners. The Warriors jumped to a 36:27 halftime lead. Swords Thunder went on a determined comeback rally in the final period but came up short at the end. Kieran Donaghy (198-G/F-83) and Ricardo Leonard (201-C-70,... [read more]
Templeogue and Tralee Warriors advanced into the Champions Trophy Final. They earned victories in the respective semifinals on Saturday. Tralee Warriors nipped Swords Thunder 66:64. Trae Pemberton (193-G-92, college: Maryville, MO) provided 24 points and 8 rebounds to pace the winners. The Warriors jumped to a 36:27 halftime lead. Swords Thunder went on a determined comeback rally in the final period but came up short at the end. Kieran Donaghy (198-G/F-83) and Ricardo Leonard (201-C-70, college: ODU) netted 13 points each in the win. Oleksandr Dolenko (191-PG-90) responded with 13 points for the Thunder. Templeogue knocked down UCD Marian 71:64 behind 21 points and 14 rebounds from Jason Killeen (211-C-85, college: Augusta). The teams went neck and neck throughout first three periods. However Templeogue used a 22:14 rally in the fourth frame to ice the win. Lorcan Murphy (182-PG-94) produced 17 points and 7 boards in the victory. Conor Meany (185-PG-86) responded with 17 points for UCD Marian. Dustan Moreira (202-F-89) chipped in 16 points in the loss.
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