Friday 19 January 2018

Basketball: No rest for Ryan's Marian

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

LET'S hope UCD Marian took it easy after their historic Superleague National Cup victory last weekend, as there is no rest for the wicked.

Six days after they dethroned Killester in front of a rapturous National Basketball Arena in Tallaght, they face back-to-back Dublin derbies, with DCU Saints up first tomorrow and 24 hours later a rematch with the champions.

It is scant reward for the side who have little time to cherish a long-awaited first Cup title.

But they will carry the adrenalin garnered from last weekend's win into the clashes and they will hope their fans come out to again back them in the battle for a play-off place.

"Other teams will have no problem getting motivated to play us for the rest of the year," said coach Fran Ryan. "Saints have been flying under the radar because of the distraction of the Cup, but if you look at their recent record they are the form team at present.

"Killester will be rightly waiting to prove a point on Sunday. We will wait and see, but clearly coming off a Saturday night game and 24 hours later playing the lead team in the conference is not our ideal cup of tea."

UCC Demons face a difficult trip to Belfast Star on Sunday, while UL Eagles take on Neptune in the southern conference. Moycullen travel to Ulster Elks.

A week on from beating them in the Women's National Cup final, DCU Mercy face a rematch with Team Montenotte Hotel Cork. DCU coach Mark Ingle admits he wouldn't have minded a change of scenery.

"It's a big game to start back with and it's not ideal as there is so much at stake for both teams," he said.

Irish Independent

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