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Basketball Ireland weekend preview

Updated: Thursday, 06 Mar 2014 17:04 | Comments

Killester are one win away from the Men's Premier League crown
Killester are one win away from the Men's Premier League crown

As they stand on the edge of glory, the pressure mounts for Killester who need to win one of two of their games this weekend in order to claim the prestigious Men’s Premier League crown.

Defying all the predictions, Killester became the first side to defeat Demons in Cork this season when they utterly outplayed the cup champions on their home court with a convincing 24 point win. The large margin of victory was important as it denied Demons a losing bonus point.

Although the men in orange and black are set to play twice this weekend, they need only one win to be crowned champions for 2014.

They will first take on the 2013 league winners, UL Eagles, on Saturday night on their home turf in the IWA Clontarf before they make the trip to Cork to play Bord Gáis Neptune.

Demons, meanwhile, must venture in hope to Galway where they play SSE Renewables Moycullen. The Cork outfit will need to win that game and hope that Killester lose both their fixtures at the weekend.

The failure to capture at least a losing bonus point on Sunday last has seriously affected their chances. Had they managed that, Killester would need four points minimum (a win and a losing bonus point) from this weekend to be sure of the title.

However, as it currently stands, Demons can at best get to 49 points. It is a tally that Killester can reach Saturday night with a win over Eagles and due to their superior head to head with Demons, it would be enough to bring the Premier League trophy back to the capital.

It would be the eighth time for Killester to claim the top prize in Irish basketball, doing so most recently in 2011.

This weekend will also see a real dogfight for the remaining two places in the end of season Champions Trophy tournament.

Neptune, Eagles and DCU Saints all find themselves in with a chance of qualification. One however will have to leave disappointed.

Neptune and Saints play on Saturday night in Cork with a win for the home side guaranteeing them third spot while it would hand Eagles fourth.

Indeed, a losing bonus point from either Neptune or Eagles over the weekend would guarantee themselves third and fourth respectively.

A Saints win by six or more, however, complicates matters and would open up the possibility of Eagles taking third should they beat Killester Saturday followed up by a Neptune loss by six or more to Killester on Sunday.

A Saints win and losses by both Eagles and Neptune to Killester would see Saints in as fourth place with Neptune remaining third.

Fortunately, the weekend ahead in the Women’s Premier League is considerably simpler.

With the regular season wrapping up last weekend, the Women’s Premier League title will once again be decided by a playoff (unlike the straight league format used in the men’s).

UL Huskies and DCU Mercy, both league finalists in 2013, have earned byes to the semi-finals.

Huskies will play the winners of Killester v WIT Wildcats while Mercy will be watching the Cork derby game between Team Montenotte Hotel and Singleton SuperValu Brunell to identify their semi-final opponents.

Friday 7 March

Women’s Premier League Quarter Final

Team Montenotte Hotel v Singleton SuperValu Brunell, Upper Glanmire SC, 7.30pm

Saturday 8 March

Men's Premier League

Belfast Star V Dublin Inter, Methodist College, 3.30pm

SSE Renewables Moycullen, C&S UCC Demons, Kingfisher Arena, 6.30pm

Templeogue V UCD Marian, Oblate Hall, 7pm

Killester V UL Eagles, IWA Clontarf, 6pm

Bord Gais Neptune V DCU Saints, Neptune Stadium, 7pm

Women’s Premier League Quarter Final

Killester v WIT Wildcats, IWA Centre, 8pm

Sunday 9 March

Men's Premier League

Bord Gáis Neptune V Killester, Upper Glanmire Sports Centre, 3pm

           

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