Basketball Ireland weekend preview
Updated: Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 15:03
As the fourth week of the Nivea For Men's SuperLeague kicks off, the first game on the agenda will see Dublin Inter welcome Killester to the National Basketball Arena on Friday night.
Coming off the back of two tough defeats, Dublin Inter coach Audrius Jonusas is looking forward to the support of their home crowd. He said: “We are excited for what should be a great encounter. It has been difficult to come away from the last two games unsuccessful but we are looking forward to proving that we can compete in the SuperLeague.”
Jonusas continued: “At the moment we are just training once a week due to players working commitments and travel. I have respect for all of the teams we compete against but we are looking for a win this weekend to get us back on track.”
Killester also suffered a disappointing result last weekend when they fell at home to north side rivals DCU Saints.
Speaking about the result Killester coach Darren O’Neill admitted: “It was a tough loss last weekend. In the third quarter we only managed to score four points which just wasn’t enough. We feel slightly undermanned without the aid of Jermaine Turner so we need to play hard this weekend and come out strong to get the win.”
However, O’Neill is confident in his side saying: “On our night we are as good as anyone.”
Saturday evening will see Moycullen take on Bord Gais Neptune in NUIG Kingfisher. This game will also see two teams that suffered downfalls last weekend meet, so all is to play for.
Moycullen coach Salva Camps welcomes the home fixture for his young side, saying: “With this weekend’s game at home we need to use that to our advantage and hopefully play well for our dedicated home crowd.”
Camps paid credit to Neptune’s experience and strong inside game but is confident that the encounter will be an exciting one as they enter the game with a full squad.
Likewise, Neptune will be eager to return to the league this week in full force as they missed out on a win last weekend when they were beaten by two points by Cork rivals UCC Demons.
Speaking about his team, Mark Scannell said: “It’s been a hard few weeks for us having lost three very close games that could have gone either way. We’re getting there though and preparing well for this weekend’s game.”
Scannell admitted: “Moycullen is not an easy place to win and we know that first hand from our encounter their last season. Both teams are looking for their first win of the season so we have to put it all out there.”
Local bragging rights are up for grabs in DCU Sports Complex on Saturday night as DCU Saints take on UCD Marian. Both teams are coming into the game off a successful weekend so will look to maintain their winning ways.
Saints coach David Donnelly is looking forward to the clash: “Our game against UCD Marian will be an exciting one for us. We are both levelled with two wins and one loss so it will be a tough game. They play a very high intensive defensive game and we need to prepare for that.”
Donnelly continued: “I am happy with our performance last weekend, we are getting better each week but know that if we are to win this weekend we need to play hard.”
UCD Marian coach Sasa Punosevac echoed Donnelly’s views saying: “Both teams are playing very similar basketball this season so the game will be an interesting one. Our defensive game is aggressive and offensively our inside players are scoring great numbers for us.”
Punosevac admired Saints and their coaching staff: “I have full respect for Donnelly and what he achieved last season, DCU have two dominate foreign players but their Irish guards are also very experienced. It should be an interesting game!”
In Limerick, UL Eagles will face UCC Demons as both teams go into the game undefeated after three rounds of the league. The Eagles and Demons rivalry has seen a number of great games in recent years and Saturday should add another entry to that list.
Coach of Eagles Mark Keenan said: “This is the type of game you look forward to in basketball with both teams keen to preserve their winning run. Naturally I want UL Eagles to win and I believe we can do that provided we bring our top game with us on the night.”
Keenan continued: “Both teams will unsurprisingly enter the top of the table game with confidence, hopefully there will be a great crowd there from both side to witness this battle!”
Paul Kelleher, coach of Demons, is looking forward to the task at hand saying: “UL are huge inside so we will need to maintain a strong fixture on both defence and offense. We are in good form and so are they but we will need to be at our best defensively to put a stop to them. That will in turn give us the confidence on the other end of the floor offensively.”
In the Nivea Women's SuperLeague, Liffey Celtics will welcome Killester on Saturday evening as both teams search for their first win of the season. Coming off the back of tough weekends, both teams will be sure to leave it all out on the floor and come away successful.
On Sunday afternoon, Dublin southsiders will travel to Cork to take on Singleton SuperValu Brunell. Having secured their first win of the season against Killester last weekend, Meteors will be hoping to add to their points on the table.
Kieran O' Leary, coach of Brunell, is looking forward to the game: “It will be a hard game this weekend but we are at home and we will use it to our advantage. We suffered a tough defeat against UL last weekend so we are excited to play a good game this weekend.”
DCU Mercy will be brimming with confidence from their huge win last weekend as they take on WIT Wildcats at home. Likewise the Waterford side will be looking to improving on their performance as they narrowly missed out on a win when they suffered defeat against Team Montenotte Hotel Cork last weekend.
Ulster Rockets will welcome UL to De La Salle this Sunday as they return from a weekend break in the league. Rockets, who played Haverford College from Philadelphia in a friendly game last Sunday, successfully secured a win with a three-point victory over the American side. The win sets the Ulster side up nicely as they wish to make an impact against last year’s League and Cup Champions.