Saturday 20 January 2018

Basketball: Cork rivals battle for play-off place

Neil Ahern

ON THE final weekend of the Men's Superleague regular season, Cork rivals Neptune and UCC Demons will battle it out for the Southern Conference's second play-off spot and a guaranteed home semi-final in the knockout stage.

Neptune have the upper hand, with a double-header against UCD/Marian and Moycullen, and they can seal the coveted second spot with two wins.

"What a massive weekend for us as a team and a club," said head coach Pat Price. "With two games in less than 24 hours, we need all hands on deck to see off our final league challengers.

"As we saw last weekend, any team is capable of turning over any other in this league. We are pleased with our balanced efforts as we head to the play-offs, as evidenced by the 40 points off the bench last weekend.

"Michael McGinn's leadership and improved play were a great boost last weekend and his energy levels have been contagious within the squad."

UCD/Marian continue to be without Daniel James for Neptune's first clash, while Moycullen are expected to have a full quota at their disposal for their final weekend of the season.

UCC Demons may not be in control of their fate, but they will be desperate to claim the win that could consolidate the runner-up spot they currently hold if Neptune happen to falter.

They face a Belfast Star side that are already in the play-offs and could be without the services of Scott Summersgill, who is struggling with an injury.

Elsewhere, the respective Northern and Southern champions, Killester and UL Eagles, face off in what could be a precursor to the League play-off final.

The Dublin side will be looking for a third consecutive win over their Munster counterparts.

Irish Independent

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