Sunday 17 December 2017

Basketball: O'Connor confident Eagles will stay flying high

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

UL EAGLES will put their SuperLeague Cup title on the line tomorrow night when they welcome Killester to Limerick.

The Dubliners make the trip south west on the back of a restorative couple of weeks during which they beat early front-runners UCC Demons.

After a poor start and the loss of coach Darren O'Neill, the addition of Michael Bonaparte helped them secure back-to-back wins.

Team manager Rachel O'Connor wants her charges to keep that run of form going despite the absence of star guard Eoin Chubb, who is sidelined with a knee injury.

"We've had a good week of practice coming off the momentum of that win and Michael Bonaparte is settling in really well," she said.

Former Killester coach Mark Keenan will not be taking anything for granted as he prepares his UL side for the game.

"Killester have shown how good they can be by beating UCD Marian and UCC Demons in the last few weeks. We will need a big performance if we want to go through to the semi-finals," he said.

Neptune have been pushing their game against Dublin Inter hard in Cork, distributing free tickets in an attempt to drum up interest. And coach Mark Scannell is hoping that a "carnival of basketball" will inspire his players to continue their form.

"We are playing well at the minute but the fact that we were beaten by Inter in Dublin will be on our minds," he said. "We had a lot of injury worries recently but everyone is back to playing health and it has actually stood to us as we have a deeper rotation due to so many bench guys stepping in and playing very well in that time."

Moycullen have also taken a different approach to their clash with UCD Marian by relocating to Leitir Moir in the Galway Gaeltacht for the game.

"We have had a lot of success playing games in Leitir Moir and there is a great basketball community out there that really appreciates the chance to see top teams playing in their area," Moycullen guard James O'Brien explained.

Men's SuperLeague Cup quarter-finals

Tomorrow: Moycullen v UCD Marian, Sportlann Mhicil Mhor, 3.45; Neptune v Dublin Inter, Neptune Stadium, 7.0; UL Eagles v Killester, UL Arena, 7.30.

Sunday: DCU Saints v UCC Demons, DCU, 3.30.

Women's SuperLeague Cup quarter-finals

Tomorrow: UL Huskies v Brunell, UL Arena, 5.0; Ulster Rockets v WIT Wildcats, De La Salle, 6.30; Glanmire v Meteors, Upper Glanmire Sports Centre, 7.0; Liffey Celtics v DCU Mercy, Leixlip Centre, 7.30.

Irish Independent

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