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Saints & Demons clash at Halloween
30 Oct 2014 22:10
There’s a Halloween twist to this weekend’s basketball action as Saints battle Demons in the Men’s Premier League.
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DCU Saints will look to prevent C&S UCC Demons from extending their unbeaten run when they meet in the first game of a double-header at the National Basketball Arena.
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Demons player-coach Colin O’Reilly, clearly in confident mood after coming through tough encounters against Swords Thunder and league champions Killester, said: “We were never really in any danger of losing.”
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“For us, it’s a case on building on the foundations in place and continuing to improve on all areas of our play. We have now established a team identity that we feel will help us succeed throughout the season.”
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Travelodge Swords Thunder and Dublin Inter round off the double-header.
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Swords are showing potential in their debut season, while Dublin Inter are displaying better early season form in 2014.
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Inter’s Barry Ryan credits coach Todd James.
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“Todd started working with us in July and his ideas have influenced our balance and the way we approach things,” Ryan revealed.
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“Controlling tempo is one of the key things which we’ve focused on and also having more of a dynamic defence, being able to do man-to-man and match-up zones.”
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Belfast Star have lost three of their four games to date by two baskets or less and are still without a win.
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They welcome Killester up north with head coach Neal McCotter concerned about his team’s strength of mind.
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“I think we’ve lost too many close games through mental fatigue and bad mistakes,” McCotter admitted.
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“That’s something we need to sharpen up on. We need to stop the other team from getting their set-up right.”
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Ciaran Roe has been added to Killester’s injury list after sustaining an ankle injury against Demons.
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BFG Neptune face into a second consecutive weekend of two games in the space of 24 hours.
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First up, is a trip to UCD Marian, where Preston Ross has been the star attraction. Coach Ioannis Liapakis is looking to ease the pressure on his new recruit.
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“Preston Ross is a rookie straight out of college. He’s a really good kid and a good player, and he’s trying really hard, but of course he needs a little more time.”
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Next up for Neptune, is Sunday’s home tie against UL Eagles. It should be an end-to-end affair, with both teams leading the way in turnovers for the season. Eagles forward Orlando Parker says his side have yet to shine.
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“We haven’t played great basketball yet,” Parker conceded.
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“We still haven’t shown the league what we’re capable of and neither have I. There’s a lot more in store.”
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The most eagerly-anticipated game of the weekend is in the Women’s Premier League, where unbeaten Meteors collide with unbeaten Team Montenotte Hotel.
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Meteors are greatly improved under the new coaching ticket of Eoin Chubb and Eileen Bradley. Christine Ganser has joined her sister Katie in making the switch from US college ball to Colaiste Iosagain, while Aoife McDermott has settled right in after signing from UL Huskies.
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“Everyone on the team can score,” said Christine Ganser.
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“We have a lot of firepower and our coach lets us read what’s in front of us.”
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Team Montenotte Hotel’s Mark Scannell is another coach who lets his side express themselves. The reigning champions have the meanest defence in the league, but Scannell is concentrating on attack.
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“We’re working hard on our offense at the moment because we need to get the balance right,” he said.
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“It’s another game on a long road.”
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Killester head to Waterford on Saturday knowing they’ll need to starve WIT Maxol Wildcats of second-chance points to secure a first win of the season. The Dubliners have been second best to the boards of late and Olivia Applewhite will pose a serious threat.
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“We need a win,” acknowledged Wildcats coach Brother Philip Ryan.
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“This is our second home game of the season and the return of Niamh Mullaly is also a welcome boost for us.”
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DCU Mercy will be without Katie and Peggy Black for their trip to UL Huskies. The sisters are on GAA duty as Mercy look to target UL’s influential point guard Kelsey Harris.
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“We’re a young team, as everybody knows, so we’re just focusing on ourselves right now,” says Harris.
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Huskies may switch from zone to woman-to-woman defence to keep Mercy at bay.
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Singleton Supervalu Brunell host Courtyard Liffey Celtics with second place in the table up for grabs.
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Brunell’s Edel Thornton has been one of the most accurate shooters in the league to date, while Meagan Hoffman is Celtics’ main scoring threat.
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