Basketball Ireland weekly preview: Killester red hot

This weekend in the Men’s Premier League, red-hot Killester will take on the reigning National Cup Champions, Bord Gais Neptune in a battle for each side to keep their winning streak alive.

Meanwhile the two newcomers to the league, Templeogue and Belfast Star will square up for this first time this season while last season’s League Champions, UL Eagles hope to bounce back from their loss last week when they take on Dublin Inter.


Moycullen of Galway will host their first game of the season when they welcome UCD Marian to the Kingfisher.


While C&S UCC Demons and DCU Saints will face off on Sunday as Demons aim to keep their momentum going after a fantastic two point win on the road the weekend previous over UL Eagles.


In the Women’s Premier League, last season’s reigning League and National Cup Champions, UL Huskies, prepare for a tough game against their rivals, Team Montenotte Hotel Cork while Killester take on Liffey Celtics as both sides search for their first win of the season.


Elsewhere, Meteors will face off with Singleton SuperValu Brunell with the Cork side looking to continue their winning ways. While Sunday will see Ulster Rockets will take on WIT Wildcats.


Men’s Premier League


Saturday: Killester v Bord Gais Neptune, IWA Clontarf, 8pm


Both Killester and Bord Gais Neptune enter this game undefeated with two wins under their belts. This game is sure to bring out the best in both sides if they want to secure a win.


Speaking about the game, head coach of Killester, Jonathan Grennell said, “Obviously we are looking forward to Saturday night’s game. With the live stream, we know there’ll be a good few people tuning in from Cork to watch so it’s added an extra dimension to our home games that excites the players, not that it’s needed.”


“Both Cork sides, Bord Gais Neptune and C&S UCC Demons are rightfully the early season favourites to challenge for league honours as they are proven commodities.”


“With that said, this Neptune team knows how to win important games and the only way we can push ourselves into the frame for league honours is by winning these type of games.”


Head coach of Bord Gais Neptune, Mark Scannell, is looking forward to the challenge ahead, “Our games against Killester are always great battles. Both sides are strong and have deep benches to back up the performances that are needed.”


“I think Michael Bonaparte has been playing some nice basketball and I know Darren Townes and Bonaparte will be a very good match up for each other.”


“We are a little beaten up at the moment to be fair, we will be without key players such as Ger Noonan this weekend as he recovers from knee surgery. However, we are quietly confident, we have a great team here and once everyone steps up we will compete.”


“The league is different this year, it is definitely more evenly matched so we want to continue our strong start going into this tough game.”


Saturday: UL Eagles v Dublin Inter, UL Sport Arena, 7pm


Elsewhere, last season reigning League Champions, UL Eagles will take on Dublin Inter. Unfortunately for the Limerick side, they dropped their first game last weekend when faced with C&S UCC Demons.


Eager to get back on track, head coach, Mark Keenan said, “The mood at training on Monday was positive, even though we were disappointed with the loss it was a moral victory for us. This is important for us after losing 3 of our starters from last season.”


“Coming up against Dublin Inter we know we can’t be complacent. They can be so dangerous, something they are great and other times they are poor but we have to take it that they will be great this weekend. They look limited but they can all play and compete.”


“We can’t afford to drop another game so early in the season so we need to be mentally prepared for this game.”


Dublin Inter come into the game after a three point win over newcomers, Templeogue last weekend.


Their head coach, Sarunas Cesnakauskas, said, “Our players know who UL Eagles are and know how they play.”


“We plan to do our best this weekend and push UL Eagles. This is a big game for us coming up against the League Champions.”


“We know that a win will give us more power and we want to show everyone that they are not the best team.”


Saturday: Templeogue v Belfast Star, Oblate Hall, 7pm


Meanwhile, Premier League newcomers, Templeogue and Belfast Star will face off for the first time this season. Although the teams have played each other in preseason with Belfast Star coming out on top, this will make for an interesting fixture as both sides adjust to life in the Premier League.


Conor James, a Templeogue favourite explained, “We have had two tough losses that we felt we could have won and certainly had the chances to win so we are determined to learn from our mistakes and try to take all 3 points against Belfast Star.”


“Limiting Paul Dick and Fergal Toner to contested shots, tough interior defence on their American and keeping our own structure on offence will be central to a successful game for us.”


Speaking to Belfast Star player, Paul Dick, he said, “The mood is good on the team and we are happy with the win last week. We will not be relaxed about approaching the Templeogue game, they are a strong side with great players.”


“However, our confidence is growing with every game and we are confident going into this game with Templeogue that we will come away with a result.”


Saturday: Moycullen v UCD Marian, NUIG Kingfisher, 8.15pm;


In Galway, Moycullen will welcome UCD Marian as they prepare to host their first home game of the season. Moycullen have yet to record a win this season after two tough defeats to Bord Gais Neptune and UL Eagles.


Eoghan Maxwell of Moycullen said, “We have had a tough start to the season with two losses against two great teams but we are a young team and are continuing to grow and learn.”


“This will be our first home game of the season and we are all excited for it. We are lucky that we get such fantastic support from our club at our games. Hopefully we will benefit from them cheering us on.”


As UCD Marian enters the game off a tight loss to Killester, they too are eager to come away with a win.


UCD Marian’s Eoin Chubb, is looking forward to the match up, “Moycullen are young and fast and have some great players on their team so we know we will need to be ready for whatever they throw at us.”


“We are a new team so we are still trying to play together and gel. We are still learning how to close out games so will need to play for a full 40 minutes to come away with the win.”


Sunday: C&S UCC Demons v DCU Saints, Mardyke Arena, 3.30pm


Finally, Sunday will see C&S UCC Demons take on DCU Saints in the first Premier League 2013/2014 game in the Mardyke Arena.


Demons come into the game after a two point win over last season’s League Champions, UL Eagles.


Speaking about the game their head coach and key player, Colin O’Reilly said, “DCU Saints are a physical team that have multiple threats that can damage us from all areas of the floor. The key for us will be to out rebound them and force the tempo to take away their size advantage.”


“It’s our first home game of the season so we are looking forward to performing in front of the Demons faithful and hopefully rewarding them with a win.”


Meanwhile, DCU’s head coach, David Donnelly enthused, “We are looking forward to this game, they are the league favourites and have a strong squad to back it up.”


“Nobody expects us to win this game so we are going down there with no pressure on us.”


“Although we lost last week we did have some patches of great basketball. We need to pull out a better performance, play for the full 40 minutes and play with more confidence.”


Women’s Premier League


Saturday: Team Montenotte Hotel Cork v UL Huskies, Upper Glanmire Centre, 7pm


The most anticipated Women’s Premier League game of the week will see Team Montenotte Hotel Cork take on last season’s League and National Cup Champions, UL Huskies.


Team Montenotte enter the game after a close game with Liffey Celtics that resulted in overtime and the Cork side taking the victory.


Paul Kelleher, Team Montenotte’s head coach said, “Last weekend we played well in patches, in those times that we didn’t, Liffey Celtics did a very good job in exposing us. This has allowed us to highlight what we need to adjust and change going forward.”


“Having that challenge so early in the season will be good for us and will hopefully stand to us this weekend. It showed the character and strength of the team which we will bring into our game this weekend against UL Huskies.”


James Weldon’s side come to the game with two wins under their belt.


Speaking about his Huskies, he said, “We will look at this game as a way for us to get a win over a rival of ours. Every time we go to Cork, whether to play Team Montenotte or Brunell it is always a tough task. We know that Team Montenotte will be strong so we are prepared for them.”


Saturday: Meteors v Singleton SuperValu Brunell, Colaiste Iosagain, 7pm;


In Dublin, Meteors will welcome Singleton SuperValu Brunell as they search for their first win of the season.


Susan Fogarty of Meteors said, “After our two losses on the road we are looking forward to playing our first game of the season at home. We have had a tough week in training and changed up a few things so hopefully this will give us the extra edge.”


“All of our games against Brunell are close so we are expecting a challenge. They are also coming in on the back of two wins so we need to be switched on from the jump.”


Singleton SuperValu Brunell’s, Amy Waters is positive about her team, “We are very confident after two great wins, we’ve really stepped it up this season. We have started how we wanted to and now we need to keep it up. We have a record to protect now so we want to get a win this weekend to maintain it.”


Saturday: Killester v Liffey Celtics, IWA Clontarf, 6pm


Both Killester and Liffey Celtics are searching for their first win of the season this weekend.


Mark Grennell, Killester’s head coach said, “Although the score doesn’t reflect it, we did play better last weekend. We have a lot of new faces on the team this season so we are still learning how to work together.”


“Every team is getting stronger and adding more talent to their existing side so we need to go into each game with the same winning mentality. We want to get a win this weekend, especially at home to kick start our season.”


Igor Petrovic, head coach of Liffey Celtics is also eager to record their first win, “We know Killester will be tough, especially in their home gym and with players like Aishling Sullivan and Lorraine Scully.”


“We will play with the same intensity that we did last week to try and get the win and compete for the full 40 minutes. We are just one win away from getting our confidence back but we know we need to work for it in order to deserve it.”


Sunday: Ulster Rockets v WIT Wildcats, Methodist College, 1pm


The final game in the Women’s Premier League this weekend will see Ulster Rockets challenge WIT Wildcats.


Ulster Rockets fell short on the road to Singleton SuperValu Brunell last week but will look to capitalise on a home fixture against WIT Wildcats.


Speaking about the game, Ulster Rockets head coach, Bread Dick said, “Our good news this weekend is that we hope to see Fionnuala Toner return from injury which will give the team the extra boost that we need to take on Wildcats.”


Meanwhile, Tommy O’Mahoney, head coach of WIT Wildcats is also excited about the game, “It was great to start our season with a win last weekend but Ulster Rockets have some very good players so we will need to be at our best if we want to get a win.”





Saturday, October 19th


Men’s Premier League

Moycullen v UCD Marian, NUIG Kingfisher, 8.15pm ; Killester v Bord Gais Neptune, IWA Clontarf,8pm ; Templeogue v Belfast Star, Oblate Hall, 7pm ; UL Eagles v Dublin Inter, UL Sport Arena, 7pm


Women’s Premier League

Killester v Liffey Celtics, IWA Clontarf, 6pm Meteors v Brunell, Colaiste Iosagain, 7pm; Team Montenotte Hotel v UL Huskies, Upper Glanmire Centre, 7pm


Men’s Division One

Portlaoise Panthers v JM&L Auctioneers Titans, St Mary’s, 7.30pm ; Team Garvey’s St. Mary’s v Swords Thunder, Castleisland CC, 7.30pm



Sunday, October 20th


Men’s Premier League

C&S UCC Demons v DCU Saints, Mardyke Arena , 3.30pm


Women’s Premier League

Ulster Rockets v WIT Wildcats, Methodist College, 1pm


Men’s Division One

C&S Blue Demons v Maree, Mardyke Arena, 1pm


Women’s Division One

Portlaoise Panthers v Tralee Imperials, St Mary’s, 5.15pm


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