PREVIEW: We look ahead to this weekend's games

PREVIEW: We look ahead to this weekend's games

  • Feb 15,2018

All eyes are on the top of the Men’s Super League table this weekend, as two of the top teams, UCD Marian and Garvey’s Tralee Warriors prepare for battle on Saturday night.

Indeed, it’s not going to be an easy few days for UCD Marian, who first have to turn their attentions to this evening’s [Thursday] clash with Éanna in the first game in their double header weekend as they look to regroup after last weekend’s loss to Pyrobel Killester.

“These are two massive games for us this week,” UCD Marian’s Scott Kinevane stated. “Éanna have been very good at home all season and they have an excellent coach in Pat Glover who probably knows our team better than any other coach in the league. We will have to match their physicality if we are to get a result.

“Tralee then on Saturday will be another battle, they have had some great results of late and seem to be the in-form team at the moment. Their ‘floor general’ Trae Pemberton has had an impressive start to 2018, so containing him, and the battle on the boards, will be key in this game.”

Marian head coach, Ioannis Liapakis agreed, adding: “We have two really difficult games this weekend, and we’re doing our best to prepare. If we are able to win both games, that would be a huge result for us, and would give us back the safety net that we lost against Killester.”

For Tralee, the trip to Dublin will be a big test for them and, with five teams still battling for top spot in the Men’s Super League, it’s a must win game for both sides.

“It’s in our hands now, and we’re going to have to look in the mirror and figure out if we can handle it,” said Tralee head coach, Mark Bernsen. “There are five teams that are knocking on the door of the League title, so this is going to be a very challenging month, and one of the most important ones is this Saturday against Marian.

“If you look at our scores against these three teams we have coming up – Marian included – you probably wouldn’t give us much of a chance,” he admitted, “but we’re a little stronger mentally right now, and if we don’t do it, it won’t be for lack of preparation or desire.”

"Right or wrong, I’ve always said that I believe that the league is a true test of a champion. You can win some silverware in the Cup and that’s brilliant, and I wouldn’t take it away from anyone who’s done it, you can win a Champions Trophy which, obviously, we were lucky enough to do last year, but to win the league is a true test of a champion, where it’s over a 22 game period, there’s no luck of the draw, it’s a real testimony to your toughness and longevity, that’s a great challenge for us, and it would be a great thing to do, but there's still a long way to go."

Indeed, all of the top five teams are in action this weekend, with second place Griffith College Swords Thunder welcoming Moycullen on Saturday evening, fourth place Pyrobel Killester on the road to Maree where they will face a tough challenge, and fifth place Black Amber Templeogue facing Belfast Star at home.

Elsewhere, KUBS and DCU Saints will do battle at Greendale, while UCC Demons welcomes Éanna on Sunday as the Cork side aims to maintain their top six spot in the league.

It’s a big midlands derby in the Women’s Super League this weekend meanwhile as Portlaoise Panthers prepares to welcome near neighbours IT Carlow Basketball to St Mary’s Hall in Portlaoise on Saturday evening. Both teams need a win this weekend in order to stay just above the danger zone of relegation, and it’s set to be a big battle with the teams evenly matched across the court. Portlaoise took the honours the last time the sides met in Carlow, so the visitors will be hoping to reverse that scoreline this weekend.

Elsewhere, league leaders Courtyard Liffey Celtics will need to remain focused this weekend as they travel to Maxol WIT Wildcats. Celtics can’t afford to drop a game at the moment, with Ambassador UCC Glanmire and DCU Mercy both in joint second position behind the Kildare team, with the latter facing Singleton SuperValu Brunell on Sunday. Pyrobel Killester will host their last home game of the season meanwhile as they welcome bottom of the table NUIG Mystics to the IWA in Clontarf.

In the Men’s Division One, the competition for league honours is really heating up, with three teams currently doing battle for glory. Keane’s SuperValu Killorglin still top the league, but Neptune and Ballincollig are just behind them, and Killorglin face off against Ballincollig this Saturday and Neptune the following weekend ensuring a thrilling finish to the division.

Basketball Ireland Fixtures: February 15-18th

Thursday, 15th February 2018 

Basketball Ireland Men’s Super League: 

Eanna BC v UCD Marian, Colaiste Eanna, 20:30;

Saturday, 17th February 2018

Basketball Ireland Men’s Super League: 

Griffith College Swords Thunder v Moycullen, ALSAA-Dublin, 17:00;

UCD Marian v Garvey’s Tralee Warriors, UCD, 19:00;

Maree v Pyrobel Killester, Calasanctius College, Oranmore, 19:45;

Black Amber Templeogue v Belfast Star, Oblate Hall Inchicore, 20:00;

KUBS BC v DCU Saints, Greendale, 20:00;

Basketball Ireland Women’s Super League: 

Portlaoise Panthers v IT Carlow Basketball, St Mary’s Hall, 18:00;

Pyrobel Killester v NUIG Mystics, IWA-Clontarf, 18:00;

Maxol WIT Wildcats v Courtyard Liffey Celtics, Mercy Gym, 19:00;


Basketball Ireland Men’s Division One:

Ballincollig v Keane’s Supervalu Killorglin, Ballincollig CS, 16:00;

Fr Mathews v Portlaoise Panthers, Colaiste Chriost Ri, 19:15;

Scotts Lakers St Paul’s Killarney v LYIT Donegal, Killarney Sports Centre, 19:30;

Basketball Ireland Women’s Division One: 

UL Huskies v Fr Mathews, PESS Building-UL, 17:00;

Griffith College Swords Thunder v Meteors, ALSAA-Dublin, 19:00;

Sunday, 18th February 2018 

Basketball Ireland Men’s Super League: 

UCC Demons v Eanna, Mardyke Arena, 15:00;

Basketball Ireland Women’s Super League: 

Singleton SuperValu Brunell v DCU Mercy, Parochial Hall, 14:45;

Basketball Ireland Men’s Division One: 

Ulster University Elks v IT Carlow Basketball, Ulster University Elks, 15:00;

Paris Texas Kilkenny v Dublin Lions, O Loughlins GAA, 15:00;

LIT Celtics v LYIT Donegal, SportsHub Limerick IT, 15:00; Titans v EJ Sligo All-Stars, The Jes, 15:30;

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