Basketball Ireland weekend preview

Updated: Thursday, 29 Nov 2012 16:04

A preview of the weekend’s Nivea for Men’s and Women’s SuperLeague action.

First up in the Nivea for Men’s SuperLeague on Saturday night will see northsiders Killester welcome UCC Demons to the IWA in Clontarf. Coming off the back of a double weekend on the road, Killester will be eager to start the game strong on their home court. After their loss to Moycullen last Saturday evening the ever-resilient side bounced back on Sunday to overtake a confident UCD Marian.

Speaking about the weekend gone, coach Darren O’Neill said: “Last weekend was a real mixed bag for us. It was tough to lose in Galway but we put in a team effort on Sunday to come away with the points we needed.”

O’Neill continued: “We are looking forward to the battle against Demons. When we played them earlier this season it was a close game so we will hope to build on that performance while taking the positives of last weekend with us also.”

Demons also suffered a tough loss last weekend when last year’s champions, UL Eagles, broke their winning streak in Limerick.

Demons coach Paul Kelleher said: “Last time we came up against Killester it was a tough game for us and it was close. They are a dangerous side, especially on their home court. We need to improve on our performance from last week if we want to leave Dublin with a win come Saturday.”

In Cork, Neptune Stadium will host Bord Gais Neptune versus UCD Marian. The Cork side will enter the game confident after their impressive victory over DCU Saints last weekend. This is also the third time for the two sides to meet this season with both teams recording a win each.

Neptune coach Mark Scannell said: “The last two times that we have meet UCD Marian there has been nothing between the games. This encounter will be a tough one and we need to be prepared going into it if we want to come away with the win.”

Sasa Punosevac, Marian coach, was honest when he admitted: “This game has come at a bad time for us especially after our poor performance last weekend at home. We will enter this game like every other and aim to come away with a win but we are looking forward to the cup game in two weeks to boost the team morale.”

Meanwhile in Dublin, DCU Saints will take on Dublin Inter in the DCU Complex. The last time these two teams faced off it was the opening game of the season and Inter came away with the win. Saints will not only use this fixture as an opportunity to seek revenge but also to bounce back from a string of losses over the last few weeks.

DCU coach David Donnelly said: “We are looking forward to this game and the opportunity to come back strong after a disappointing loss to Bord Gais Neptune last weekend. We lead at the end of the second quarter but were out worked in the second half.”

Donnelly continued: “This weekend we will take it right back to basics. We are going to rely on our defence to get us this win and challenge Inter.”

The final game in the Men’s SuperLeague will see UL Eagles take on Moycullen in the UL Arena. Last weekend, defending champions UL Eagles overcame Dublin Inter and UCC Demons which in turn saw them fly to the top of the division. Moycullen also had a good weekend as they saw out Killester to claim their third win out of their last four games.

Eagles coach Mark Keenan said: “We can’t be complacent going into this game against Moycullen. They are a tricky side that have always given us a great battle. We need to keep our momentum up if we want to continue with good results.”

In the Nivea Women’s SuperLeague, Meteors will travel to Limerick to take on last year’s champions, UL. Coming off the back of a close encounter with Team Montenotte Hotel Cork, the Dublin side will be hoping to rattle UL’s cage.

WIT Wildcats are also on the road as they head to Cork to take on Team Montenotte Hotel Cork. Wildcats enter the game confident after their victory over Killester last weekend. However, there is excitement among the Cork side as Tomica Babic is eligible to play her first SuperLeague game for the club.

In Dublin, Killester will take on Liffey Celtics in the IWA in Clontarf. With both teams coming into the game after tough losses all will be to play for as Celtics fight for their first win of the season.

Sunday’s clash between DCU Mercy and Ulster Rockets has been postponed until next week. The date and time is yet to be confirmed.

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