Round 5 of the Superleague gets underway this weekend and is noteworthy in that the majority of the games are at least on the surface appear rather predictable that is assuming that teams will play to the form exhibited in the 4 previous rounds. This said however the UCC Demons team have an opportunity away to Templeogue at The Oblate Hall (Sunday 3.15) in Inchicore to seek out revenge for being beaten these past 2 successive weekends by Templeogue in The Pat Duffy Cup competition. As it stands Templeogue are 4 from 4 and Demons 3 and 1 and this fixture is possibly the most defining one of the competition to date given the nature of the league up to this point. Templeogue will not be likely to take Demons for granted in that coach Mark Keenan will be all too aware of the fact that Demons together with Griffith Swords Thunder and Irish TV Tralee Warriors are the teams most likely to present them the most serious of challenges as the season evolves. Looking at the matchups over the weekend and knowing Demons as I do I find it highly unlikely that they will be turned over by Templeogue 3 weeks running something that just has never before happened in the history of the club which goes back to the mid sixties. The fact too of course is that Demons have more than enough firepower at both ends of the floor to overturn the trend of the past 2 weekends. Even to on offence adopt a different approach and separate the unit into 2 (2 player team and 3 player team) playing units with Hosford and Downey forming one 3 player unit with Lawson as opposed to what they traditionally do which literally has players 'standing around' waiting for the offence to graduate to their particular role which in effect negates Lawson's scoring power to a great extent and in this scribe's opinion is the primary reason for their Cup exit at the hands of Templeogue. Downey and Hosford just have to much to offer their team from an individual offensive stance to have them handling the ball and not have their individual games merge yet be separate to place pressure of the defence. Lawson for his part is the ideal compliment to Downey and Hosford with all 3 players more that capable of finding an open man if tied down by double teaming when committing to shoot or drive. Varying their options every time up the floor (by reading the defence effectively) and not allowing their opponents profit from their predictability is the key to unlocking this demons team's potential.
UCD Marian for their part are likely to maintain their position hot on the heels of Dublin Rivals Templeogue as they play newcomer Kubs who have yet to register a league win this season. Marian too for their part did only go down to Templeogue by 9 points on their October 16th last matchup.
UL Eagles are at home to Killester and though at 1 and 3 have at least a shot at taking a game against Killester (2 and 2) to do this of course and provide an upset they need to focus on team fundamentals defensively and keep the ball out of the hands as much as possible of the evergreen Jermaine Turner who tops the scoring charts at 30.8 ppg.
As with Kubs Irish TV Tralee Warriors are newcomers after a 7 seven year absence from the Superleague though if their opening performances are anything to go by and they are then the Championship can go back to Kerry. Tralee's big plus here is just that, size inside and at a level that we have not seen in the Ireland game for quite some time, Bogdanovich at 19.5 ppg is a legitimate contender for 'Big Man of The Year' even only after 4 games. At the other end of the scale Trae Pemberton though not at the high end in the scoring charts has all the hallmarks from a guard's stance of what it takes to be successful in the Irish game. Tralee are at home to DCU Saints which is a plus this time round it still being so early in the season and though Saints are 2 and 2 my guess is that if Tralee can get ahead early and stay ahead the support of the home crowd in what is sure to be a sellout game again will be enough to see the Warriors home and dry.
Coach David Baker's Griffith's Swords Thunder also at 3 and 1 will be expected to again being at home take the points from Belfast Star who have managed to take just one game from their opening encounters. I saw GST play at The Mardyke Arena a few weeks back and was really impressed by the talent level in numbers at least assembled by coach Baker. The Thunder too are at 3 and 1 and in my humble opinion are the team with the highest level of available room for improvement which is something that can occur naturally with basketball teams simply from practicing and playing more games together where players unconsciously quite often get to know one another's strengths and weaknesses and adapt appropriately. Star for their part will not be happy with their current standing and coach Darren O Neill is likely to be looking at what needs to be done differentely to begin climbing the league table.
Ireland based Academy for Euroleague Club.
I need 2 to 3 people to come on board with a new project, the setting up and operation of an Ireland based Academy using my teamsystem for basketball (www.maherprobasket.com). The Academy will consist of 2 Men's teams catering to under 16 and under 18 players and is on behalf of a top European Club. I need people in the areas of Basketball Fundamentals Coaching / Administration and Sports apparel Marketing. Ideally candidates will be Cork based though the island of Ireland is fine. P.M. me for further details or call +353 899404605 / E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org. All correspondence will be treated in the strictest of confidentiality. (www.maherprobasket.com)
Jermaine Turner (195-F-74, college: Dowling)
Donaghy the star as Tralee Warriors crowned Men's Champions Trophy champions - 21 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 - 22 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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