Basketball Ireland weekly preview

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Updated: November 10, 2011

EAGLES BID FOR WINNING RETURN

In the Nivea For Men’s SuperLeague, UL Eagles coach Mark Keenan will be hoping to put one over on his former club when 11890 Killester visit the UL Arena, while Bord Gais Neptune coach Mark Scannell will be hoping to avoid a fourth consecutive defeat when his side host Belfast Star.

Moycullen will be hoping to keep their winning run intact when they host UCD Marian.

Northern Conference leaders DCU Saints go head to head with UCC Demons in a repeat of their forthcoming National cup quarter final clash.
It’s also a big weekend in the national cup with Singletons Supervalu Brunell hosting Liffey Celtics in the Womens SuperLeague National cup.
There is one other first round tie in the Womens SuperLeague national cup where Meteors and Oblate Dynamos clash in an interesting Dublin derby.

No doubt the UL Arena will be rocking as UL Eagles will be hoping to get back to winning ways when they host 11890 Killester.

The Limerick side were unlucky not to gain maximum points last week when they were defeated in Cork by UCC Demons.

In the third quarter the Eagles commanded an eight-point lead and wasted three consecutive possessions that could have closed the game out.

Instead Demons weathered the rally to run out 75-71 winners much to the dismay of coach Keenan.

“We had our chance to put Demons away but that game is over and now we must prepare for another titanic battle with Killester,” Keenan said.
“We are not a hundred miles away but we must focus more because simple errors can cost you dearly in this league.”

Killester travel to shannonside on the back of a comprehensive defeat by their Dublin neighbours DCU Saints and coach Darren O’Neill will be expecting his team to respond in style.

“We did not do the business against DCU Saints and ultimately paid the price so we have worked hard on erasing the errors we made and hopefully the guys can make amends against UL,” Darren said.
Bord Gais Neptune won their opening three games and were looking likely championship contenders but in the last three games they have failed to add to that tally.

The visit of Belfast Star will be an interesting contest as this pairing will also clash in the National cup quarter final.

For the Neptune coach Mark Scannell this is a crucial game as he feels his team needs to return to winning ways.

“I honestly felt we were very unlucky to lose against Moycullen as we had an 11 point lead with six minutes remaining but made basic errors that cost us dearly,” Scannell said.

“Winning is just like losing as it becomes a habit and we will be very much focused on trying to rediscover the basketball we are capable of playing.”

Belfast Star coach Danny Fulton is still searching for his first win of the season as his teams record to date shows 0/6.

It has been a testing time for the Star boss but he is not losing any sleep in the knowledge he is confident it will get better sooner than later.

“Don’t get me wrong I am irritated that we have began so badly but last season was a little bit similar as we lost our opening five games,” Danny said.

“We need a win and it would be nice if it was against Neptune and hopefully we can play the standard of basketball we are capable of.”
Moycullen shocked the basketball fraternity last week when they toppled Bord Gais Neptune and they will be hoping for more of the same for the visit of UCD Marian.

The Galway side have been impressive to date in this campaign and coach Ger Lyons believes a win against UCD is not out of the question.
“There is little doubt the goodwill factor is with us and if we continue to battle as we have been doing since the season kicked off UCD will know they have been in a game,” Ger said.

For the UCD coach Fran Ryan he is very aware of the talent his team are facing.

“Defeating Neptune is probably a watershed moment in Moycullen basketball and that should erase their doubts of competing with the elite in Irish basketball,” Fran said.

“They have done two of the hardest things in Irish basketball and that is winning in Belfast and beating a Cork team.”

DCU Saints fresh from their derby win over Killester entertain an inform UCC Demons.
Saints were superb against Killester but coach David Donnelly believes this will be another tough test for his team.

“Demons have some very good Irish players and I am led to believe a very good American so will need to be at our best to contain them,” David said.

“It will be an interesting game as we must travel to Cork in December to play them in national cup quarter final.”

Paul Kelleher is happy that UCC Demons have the necessary bottle for the bottle after watching his side dispose of UL Eagles last week.
“I think we would have lost a similar game last season but my players have matured and they can dig deep when defeat stares them in the face,” Paul said.

“DCU Saints are a very gritty side that will test any side in this league and it’s a case of meeting them head on as the physicality stakes are far greater when you play them.”
In the Womens SuperLeague national cup Singletons Supervalu Brunell entertain Liffey Celtics.
Both sides are playing at this level for the first time but the Brunnel coach Kieran O’Leary is happy with what he has seen of his team.
“Ironically Liffey Celtics are the only team we have defeated this season but we have been competitive in all our games and as I said a number of months ago we are building for the future,” Kieran said.

Meteors and Oblate Dynamos is the only other Womens SuperLeague first round clash with an attractive home quarter final clash with Team Montenotte on offer for the winners.

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