/ Basketball

Weekend Basketball preview

Updated: Thursday, 19 Jan 2012 14:56

Neptune will be looking to avenge the heavy defeat DCU handed out earlier in the season
Neptune will be looking to avenge the heavy defeat DCU handed out earlier in the season

The big game of the weekend in the Nivea for Men’s SuperLeague is the clash between Bord Gáis Neptune and DCU Saints.

Neptune will be hoping to get back to winning ways following their Cup exit and coach Mark Scannell is looking forward to another stern test for his promising side.

"Saints were too strong for us when we last played them in the SuperLeague and in the end they blitzed us," said Scannell.

"Players will have to get rid of the cobwebs and get ready for action as Saints are a physical team and its important for us to get back to winning ways.”

For the Saints coach David Donnelly it will be refreshing for his side to get back to playing after a two week break since their last competitive game.

"Playing at Neptune is always a difficult proposition and I am sure they will want to revenge the win we had over them on our home court," David said.

"Neptune will also want to get the cup defeat out of their system and we will have to be very focused if we are to get maximum points from this game."

UL Eagles will be hoping to continue their winning ways when they entertain UCD Marian at the UL Arena.

The Limerick side had to show battling qualities in their cup win over 11890 Killester and coach Mark Keenan believes this will be another tough test.

“We have had two really tough games against UCD already this season & I expect no different this weekend," said Eagles head coach Mark Keenan.

"The return to play after injury of Dan James makes them a much better offensive team. We must keep our own feet on the ground after last weekend’s cup semi final win over Killester. We need to win to keep the pressure on Neptune & UCC Demons in the southern conference title race."

Fran Ryan the UCD boss has had a frustrating season but his teams performance against DCU Saints in their last league game was a breath of fresh air despite a narrow defeat.

"We are improving and showing a resemblance of the form we showed in our preseason but a game at the UL Arena is a tough task for any side and we will need to be at our very best to get a win,” Fran said.

Moycullen have proved difficult opponents for some teams on their home court at the NUIG and their clash with 11890 Killester is eagerly awaited.

The Clontarf side were disappointed following their cup semi final defeat in Cork last week and coach Darren O’Neill will be rallying his troops for a better performance.

"Losing a nine point lead with minutes to go was crazy,” said Killester head coach Darren O’Neill.

"We have to learn from it and go to moycullen and win and hope that someone does us a favour with DCU Saints."

Moycullen coach Gerard Lyons is happy with this campaign and will be urging his players to compete hard.

"Killester are a talented side and I have no doubt that to win we will have to play good defence and consistently execute scoring opportunities," Gerard said.

UCC Demons played some outstanding basketball in their cup win over arch rivals Neptune and coach Paul Kelleher will be hoping for a repeat when they welcome Belfast Star to the Mardyke Arena.

"This is going to be a very difficult game for a number of reasons and we will have to be very focused as it’s a potential banana skin," Paul said.

"They are coached by one of the best in Danny Fulton that beat us on their last visit to the Mardyke so it gives us an indication on how hard we are going to have to work to get the result we are looking for."

The Star coach Danny Fulton was in Cork last week to take in the national cup semi finals and is highly impressed with this Demons squad.

“Demons have had the same winning mentality for the past 40 years and at this present time they have a serious team that will take some stopping," Danny said.

In the Nivea Womens SuperLeague, Waterford Wildcats entertain DCU Mercy as Mark Ingle hopes to lead his team to another win before next weeks national cup final against UL.

"We need to be at our best to secure maximum points in this game as Wildcats can be a handful on their home court," Mark said.

"It's always good to go into a cup final on the back of a winning run and that will be a priority for us against Wildcats."

Ulster Rockets have been impressive on their home court and they will feel confident when they host Meteors at Anderstown.

"The season to date has been a great experience for my players and I am sure this will be another highly entertaining game,” said the Ulster coach Breda Dick.

"Meteors have a very good underage programme and their style of basketball is always a pleasure to watch."

Live!
Powered by NewsWhip