Basketball Ireland Super League Preview – December 30th and 31st

The Men’s Super League teams will be ringing in the New Year with a bang this weekend as fixtures get back underway following the Christmas break.
First to take to the court will be Garvey’s Tralee Warriors on Friday evening as they welcome Cork neighbours, UCC Demons to the Sports Complex in Tralee. The game marks a big test for Demons as they look to regroup following a loss to Belfast Star in the last round, and with both teams sitting neck-in-neck on the table with seven wins and four losses apiece, it looks set to be a very competitive game indeed.
“It’s a huge game for us,” Demons Head Coach, Tim O’Halloran acknowledged. “The two of us are 7 and 4. We had a bad loss up in Belfast the other week, I thought we were cruising in that game, but we just let it slip in the third quarter.
“I wasn’t planning on being 7 and 4 at this stage of the season,” he admitted. “I thought maybe 9 and 2, but it is what it is. There are a few good teams out there with some good professionals, so we just have to keep our heads down and keep battling. Tralee will be tough – they have six or seven steady players, and have a few others such as [Kieran] Donaghy and young [Ryan] Leonard so they are going to be very strong. It’s always a tough place to go.”
Elsewhere, KUBS – who secured their first win of the season against Commercial.ie Éanna just before Christmas – are heading to Galway on New Year’s Eve to face off to SSE Airtricity Moycullen.
“The Éanna game was a good win and will hopefully give them the confidence to win two or three more,” said KUBS Head Coach, Mark Ingle. “I don’t think we were ready for Moycullen the last time we played them but we have come on an awful lot since then with hard work, so hopefully we can get a lot closer to them now.”
Also looking ahead to the game, Moycullen Head Coach John Cunningham stated: “It’s an unusual day for a game, but given that we have the Cup semi-final the following week, it actually suits us well. KUBS have been improving and had their first win just before Christmas and we would have to be another ‘target win’ for them. Despite us winning comfortably against them in the end in Dublin, the game was very tight for three quarters. However, I have faith in our guys to deliver again.”
Radisson Blu UL Eagles meanwhile will be hoping to take some points from their clash against Belfast Star on New Year’s Eve, as they are currently bottom of the table with just one win from 11 games, while Star are sitting in eighth spot off the back of a big win over UCC Demons.
New Year’s Eve will also see two big Dublin derbies, with Griffith Swords Thunder welcoming Pyrobel Killester and the unbeaten Templeogue playing at home to DCU Saints. Swords sit second on the table with nine wins from 11 games, having most recently lost out to table toppers Templeogue, while Pyrobel Killester are coming into the game off the back of a hard-fought win against DCU Saints. Templeogue meanwhile are still the team to beat with 11 wins from 11, but DCU will be hoping they can secure themselves some vital points.
 
Upcoming Fixtures
Friday 30th December 2016
Basketball Ireland Men’s Super League:
Garvey’s Tralee Warriors v UCC Demons, Tralee, 20:00;Saturday 31st December 2016
Basketball Ireland Men’s Super League:
Radisson Blu UL Eagles v Belfast Star, UL Arena-Limerick, 14:00;
SSE Airtricity Moycullen v KUBS BC, NUIG, 15:00;
Griffith Swords Thunder v Pyrobel Killester, ALSAA-Dublin, 15:30;
Templeogue v DCU Saints, Oblate Hall Inchicore, 17:00;