Men's Premier League: Who's New?
September 28, 2015
New players for new season in Basketball Ireland Men's Premier League:
A number of key transfers have given a fresh look to the rosters of clubs in the Basketball Ireland National League. The 2015/2016 season gets underway on this Saturday with 38 teams across four divisions playing over 300 games in the regular season.
Menâs Premier League Champions C&S UCC Demons have officially welcomed Neptune duo Roy Downey and Darko Bucan into the fold. Downey featured in the Menâs Premier League Select at the Sino-European Championships in China and also be joined by Fr Mathews U18 National Cup winner Jack OâMahony.
UCD Marian have recruited a guard with NCAA âMarch Madnessâ experience in Lamont Middleton Jr while Dustan Moreira returns to the Menâs Premier League having previously played with Belfast Star. Mark Nagle and James Brophy bring Premier League experience from DCU Saints and UL Eagles respectively.
GCD Swords Thunder were trophy contenders across all competitions last season but significant roster changes mean their credentials for the 2015/2016 season remain unproven. The signs are good - Head Coach Dave Baker has brought in players from the US, Romania, Ukraine, Great Britain and the Menâs Division One in a bid to go one step closer to silverware.
Templeogue are one of the big beneficiaries from the breakup of Dublin Inter. Point Guard Mazvydas Cepliauskas and Aurimas Statkus are seasoned MPL operators and Mark Keenan will have even more experience at his disposal with the additions of Michael Bonaparte and Paul Cummins. Cummins is a former Senior International who last played with Belfast Star in 2013.
Heading through the exit door in Templeogue is Eoghain Kiernan. The promising 19 year old will play in Pyrobel Killester colours this season alongside former Czech professional Libor Havranek who makes the switch from Oblates BC. Juan Gabriel Martinez Brono spent a number of years on the books with Real Madrid and the club are hopeful of another marquee signing in the coming weeks.
DCU Saints now have Slovenian guard Luka Nachbar Cvikl on their books and look set to draw further on wealth of talent from St. Vincentâs. UL Eagles welcome back Robert Lynch into the fold after a two season break from the national league while Staats Battle joins from North Carolina State on the Victory Scholarships programme.
Belfast Star's mission to move up the table will be helped by a couple of key aquisitions over the summer. Sasha Seymore joins straight from North Carolina and it looks like Head Coach Neal McCotter will have another trick or two up his sleeve in the coming weeks.
Moycullen will be able to count on the services of returning players Cian Nihill and Patrick Lyons while new American signing Andy Burns posted impressive stats during his time with Villars in the Swiss basketball league. Their American, Fletcher AndrewBurns, is an american with experience of the Swiss top flight with Villars Basket They make the step up from Division One alongside an Eanna side who are reshaping their roster for life in the Menâs Premier League. Luke Thompson (Templeogue), Conor Gallagher (Swords Thunder) and Remigijus Dimiciukas (Dublin Inter) will bring plenty of top flight experience for their debut season.