Basketball Ireland Weekend Preview & Fixtures – UL Eagles looking to bounce back

Head coach of UL Eagles Mark Keenan is eager for his team to get “back on track” this weekend as they face Belfast Star in Basketball Ireland’s Men’s Premier League following two straight losses.


Coming off their surprising loss to Dublin Inter in the National Cup, Eagles fell to Bord Gais Neptune last week in Cork. Both losses were by single-digit margins.


“We are obviously disappointed but we need to get ourselves back on track,” said Keenan.


While the Dublin native acknowledged the major threat that young Star guard Paul Dick (averaging 19 points a game this season) will pose for his Limerick squad, he pointed to the his opponent’s other threats for Saturday’s tie.


“Yes Paul has been playing very well but when you look at Star’s stats they have a good spread of scoring and minutes with a number of guys popping up in games.”


Scott Kinevane remains an injury worry for Eagles and has only been involved in light training after missing the Neptune game last week.


Two in-form teams meet in Dublin Saturday night when Dublin Inter, winners of two in a row, meet DCU Saints, winners of three straight. Both team’s had struggled prior to the break for the cup in mid-November but have benefited from the temporary change of focus to produce their best basketball of the season in recent weeks.


Also in Dublin on Saturday night, UCD Marian play host to Bord Gais Neptune. Marian continue to confound all analysis as they followed up their 30 point second leg trouncing of C&S UCC Demons two weeks ago by being pummelled by DCU Saints by 16 points on Saturday last.


They face a Neptune team in good form whose recent win over Eagles  kept them very much in the title race.


Sunday sees battles between top and bottom as first and second placed Killester and C&S UCC Demons face last and second last SSE Renewables Moycullen and Templeogue respectively.


In the Women’s Premier League, early season front runners WIT Wildcats travel to Limerick to face a UL Huskies team that recently bested what had been the sole undefeated side in Singleton SuperValu Brunell.


“Teams have been trying to find the weaknesses in this Huskies team for the past 3 to 4 years and not succeeded,” admitted Wildcats head coach Tommy O’Mahony.


“It’s about getting the girls to believe [we can win] and hopefully producing a result Saturday. If we perform I think we can win and maybe turn a few heads while doing it.”


For their part, Brunell will have ample opportunity to recover from that loss to Huskies as they look forward to a double weekend with games against Liffey Celtics and DCU Mercy on Saturday and Sundayrespectively, both away from home.


Also in action are Killester, who host Ulster Rockets, and Team Montenotte Hotel who play Meteors in Cork.


Basketball Ireland Upcoming Fixtures

Thursday, November 28th

Women’s Division One

UL Huskies v Tom McCarthy’s St Mary’s, UL Sport Arena, 8.30pm


Saturday, November 30th

Men’s Premier League

Dublin Inter v DCU Saints, Mountview Y&C Club, 6pm ; UCD Marian v Bord Gais Neptune, UCD Sports Centre, Dublin, 7pm ; UL Eagles v Belfast Star, UL Sport Arena, Limerick, 7.30pm

Women’s Premier League

UL Huskies v WIT Wildcats, UL Sport Arena, Limerick, 5pm ; Team Montenotte Hotel v Meteors, Upper Glanmire Sports Centre, Cork, 7pm ; Liffey Celtics v Singleton SuperValu Brunell, Leixlip Amenities Centre, Kildare, 7.30pm

Men’s Division One

Team Left Bank Kilkenny v C&S Blue Demons, O’Loughlin Gaels Gym, Kilkenny, 6pm ; Tolka Rovers v Swords Thunder, Tolka Rovers SC, Dublin, 7.30pm ; Portlaoise Panthers v Maree, St Mary’s Hall, Laois,7.30pm

Women’s Division One

NUIG Mystics v Portlaoise Panthers, Colaiste Iognaid, 4pm ; Tralee Imperials v Oblate Dynamos, Pres Killarney, 7.30pm


Sunday, December 1st

Men’s Premier League

C&S UCC Demons v Templeogue, Mardyke Arena, Cork, 3.15pm ; Killester v SSE Renewables Moycullen, IWA Clontarf, Dublin, 3.45pm

Women’s Premier League

Killester v Ulster Rockets, IWA Clontarf, Dublin, 1.30pm ; DCU Mercy v Singleton SuperValu Brunell, DCU Sports Complex, Dublin, 2pm

Men’s Division One

JM&L Auctioneer’s Titans v Team Garvey’s St Mary’s, Cappagh Park SC, Galway, 3pm


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