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Basketball Ireland preview
05 Mar 2015 15:03
Templeogue are eying up a third-place finish in the Men’s Premier League with just two games to go in the regular season.
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The Dublin club propped up the table with a 1-17 record in 2013/2014, but under coach Mark Keenan are challenging for a place in the end of year Champions Trophy.
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Ireland internationals Jason Killeen and Conor Grace joined the squad this year alongside American Isaac Gordon and emerging talent Lorcan Murphy.
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Having lost their three opening games of the season, Keenan feels they’ve come a long way.
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“We’d be contesting a bit more if we didn’t have that poor start.
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"We proved to ourselves we’re able to compete and it’s given us great belief. We also showed against Dublin Inter last week we can win when our key players aren’t available,” he said.
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Templeogue play Killester this Saturday. Beating the 2014 Champions and UL Eagles in the final round will see them clinch third.
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“We’re after it. We want to finish as high as we can,” says Keenan.
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“Killester will be looking to bounce back after losing to UL at home. It shows that, outside of Demons, anyone can beat anyone in this league.”
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Travelodge Swords Thunder’s Spenser Mitchell says his side are energised about moving into the post season. Thunder face DCU Saints on Saturday and despite conceding the title to UCC Demons, the American is ambitious about what’s to come.
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“This part of the season can be tough when you’ve already played teams two or three times but you could see it in our last practise – everybody is sparked back up.
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“Juan [Torres] and I were saying how we didn’t just come here to get a few wins and try to have a little fun. We came here to get some hardware,” said the Florida native.
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Clubs who finish outside the Champions Trophy places but in the top eight compete for the League Cup in the post season.
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BFG Neptune can secure their place in the competition with a win at home to Belfast Star. UL Eagles host UCC Demons while UCD Marian play at Dublin Inter on Sunday.
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