Shawn Atupem (Ucc demons)
Published 18/11/2011 | 05:00
Killester v UCC Demons, Oblate Hall, tomorrow 8.0
HAVING lost two games in a row, champions Killester are now losing their home comforts after being forced to move across the city for tomorrow's crucial league game against the Demons.
With their usual court at the Irish Wheelchair Association unavailable, Inchicore will provide a temporary base for Darren O'Neill's men, who face a Demons team with a big point to prove.
And the Killester boss is more than a little wary after essentially giving up this home patch advantage.
"Absolutely, after the losses to DCU Saints and UL Eagles, we really could do with a 'home' game. Quite a few of our lads have never played in Inchicore, so the 'home' advantage is gone," he said.
The last time these sides met, UCC were 16 points up in the fourth quarter and heading for victory when condensation on the Cork court saw the match abandoned and the points handed to the visitors. Coach Paul Kelleher is trying his best to forget that incident.
"I am not going to talk about our last game against them, because that chapter is closed and now it's a case of playing the type of defence we produced against Saints and hopefully we will get the right result," he said.
Verdict: Away win.
THE CORK side's marquee signing has hit the Superleague ground running with an astonishing average of 27 points per game so far this season. He also has an 11.7 rebound average in an impressive start to his Irish career.
Killester will have to be alive to the danger of a player who spent last year at Mount St Mary's University in Maryland, where he finished his college basketball career with more than 1,000 points after more than 30 games in each of the four seasons at the college.
Now he is a key part of a side who lie third in a tightly contested southern conference. At 6' 7" and almost 16 stone the 22-year-old is an imposing figure on the court who is key to his side's chances.
HOW THEY STAND
THEY may lead the northern conference, but DCU Saints must maintain their momentum to stay in pole position.
The northside students have played two games more than the chasing pack and will be looking to keep their six-point advantage over Killester with a home win against Galway's Moycullen on Sunday.
Defeat for Killester at home to UCC could see them leapfrogged by UCD Marian if they beat Neptune at home, but the Cork side are eyeing top spot down south.
In the Women's Superleague, leaders UL take on Waterford Wildcats in a Munster derby, while Glanmire face Meteors away.
NUMBER OF THE WEEK
78 Northern Conference leaders DCU Saints are averaging 78 points a game so far this season, the most prolific in the league so far.
UCD Marian v Bord Gais Neptune, UCD, 7.10; Killester v UCC Demons, Oblate Hall, 8.0; Belfast Star v UL Eagles, DLS Andersonstown, 8.30.
DCU Saints v Moycullen, DCU Sports Complex, 3.30.
Superleague Cup Round 1: Ulster Rockets v Dynamos, DLS Andersonstown, 6.30; Killester v Brunell, Oblate Hall, 6.0; UL v Waterford Wildcats, UL Arena, 6.15; Liffey Celtics v DCU Mercy, Leixlip, 7.30.
Meteors v Glanmire, Colaiste Iosagain, 3.0.