National League Preview

National League Preview

  • Oct 09,2015

Portlaoise Panthers will play their first ever game of top flight basketball when they host Maxol WIT Wildcats in the Basketball Ireland Women’s Premier League on Saturday. Peter O’Sullivan’s side is the first team ever to gain automatic promotion from the Women’s Division One.

“It's not a position we thought we'd find ourselves in at this early stage in the club's infancy,” said the Head Coach. “This year is going to be a tough year for us because of players that we've lost from last year and players that we're waiting on to come back from injury.” The squad were however boosted in the off-season by the arrival of American duo Nicole Arnone and Tiffany Turner.

In the Women’s Division One, Ulster Rockets caused a stir with last week’s road game win over playoff champions Oblate Dynamos. The Belfast club are back in the national league after a year out to develop the squad and Head Coach Breda Dick is ambitious about their prospects.

“Our goal is promotion,” she said. “For a team that has been Premier before, I think we can’t aim for less than that.”

In the Men’s Premier League, UCD Marian are hopeful to have former Swords Thunder guard Alexandar Zurn available for their trip to SSE Airtricity Moycullen. Zurn spent last season in the Division One of the English Basketball League with Reading Rockets.

Marian were 14 points down with seven minutes on the clock before beating Belfast Star last week. “It was a great way to start the season especially with the problems we’ve had in the last week,” said Head Coach Ioannis Liapakis. New signing Lamont Middleton Jr. left the club prior to Round One of the league.

Club Quotes:

John Fennelly (Kestrels):
“Our focus for the year is to stabilize. We have a very young team and it is our first season. We’ve done a lot of preparation over the summer so we think we can be competitive.”

Eimear Dooley (Longford Falcons):
It means a lot to be representing Longford at this level. I’ve been lucky enough to play there before and it’s exciting. Hopefully it’ll be a good season ahead.

Kieran O’Leary (Singleton SuperValu Brunell):
Last year was a fantastic achievement for us as a club but we’re still a young side so there’s no pressure on this team to live up to anything.

Conor Meany (UCD Marian):
We were 14 down with 7 minutes to go so to pull it out against a good Belfast Star team was a great way to start the season. We were without an American, Dan James and Mike Chubb so we were a little short-handed. We showed a lot of character. We’re looking forward to moving on now with an American coming in soon and the guys coming back we should be very strong in the next couple of games.

Paul Kelleher (UL Eagles):
There were early season mistakes from both teams and two young teams on the floor [Against DCU Saints]. Hopefully we can get rid of the butterflies and move on from here.

FIXTURES:

Saturday 10 October 2015

Men's Premier League
GCD Swords Thunder v UL Eagles, ALSAA, Dublin, 18:00
SSE Airtricity Moycullen v UCD Marian, NUIG Kingfisher, Galway, 19:00
DCU Saints v Templeogue BC, DCU Sports Complex, Dublin, 19:00
Belfast Star v Eanna BC, Methodist College, Belfast, 19:00
Pyrobel Killester v C&S UCC Demons, IWA Clontarf, Dublin, 19:30

Women's Premier League
Meteors v Team Montenotte Hotel, Colaiste Iosagain, Dublin, 16:00
UL Huskies v Courtyard Liffey Celtics, UL Sport Arena, Limerick, 19:00
Portlaoise Panthers v Maxol WIT Wildcats, St. Mary's Hall, Portlaoise, 19:00

Men's Division One
ITC Basketball v JM&L Auctioneers Titans, Barrow Centre, IT Carlow, 15:30
Team Kilkenny v Kestrels, Watershed Sports Complex, Kilkenny, 19:00
BFG Neptune v Maree BC, Neptune Stadium, Cork 19:00
Fr Mathews v Keane's SuperValu Killorglin, Colaiste Chriost Ri, Cork, 19:15
KUBS v C&S Blue Demons, Carroll Arena, Greendale, 20:00

Women's Division One
ITC Basketball v NUIG Mystics, IT Carlow, 13:00
Ulster Rockets v Team Garvey's Tralee, Methodist College, Belfast, 17:00
Team Denjoes American Style v Oblate Dynamos, St. Marys Community Centre, Castleisland 19:30

Sunday 11 October 2015

Women's Premier League
Singleton's SuperValu Brunell v Pyrobel Killester, Parochial Hall, Cork, 14:45
Women's Division One 2015-2016
Marble City Hawks v Fr Mathews, O'Loughlin Gael's Kilkenny, 16:00

Round One in Video:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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