Friday 23 February 2018

Basketball: O'Keefe out to exorcise DCU Saints' demons on the double

Neil Ahern

DCU Saints have a mountain to climb this weekend if they are to qualify for the Men's Superleague play-offs as they face the unenviable task of a double-header against UCC Demons and Killester.

The Saints suffered defeats to UL Eagles and Belfast Star last weekend and are now barely holding on to their third-place spot in the Northern Conference, with Ulster Elks in close pursuit.

Their head coach Vinny O'Keefe, therefore, knows that this weekend is crucial as they look to exorcise the demons of last weekend when they take on the Demons of Cork tomorrow and their Northside Dublin rivals Killester on Sunday.

"The task of getting second has been made all the more difficult after our losses to UL Eagles and Star last weekend," he said. "We haven't done that well against UCC Demons this season, so what I am looking for is a performance. We need to turn up and play hard."

He added: "Even with their injuries they still need to be respected but I know if we can come in and play 100pc then we have a chance."

But the Saints will be without Eoin Chubb, who suffered a serious ankle injury in last Friday's defeat to Belfast Star.

Meanwhile, the Elks still retain hopes of catching the Saints after claiming three consecutive victories and they face a full-strength Moycullen side this weekend.

Elsewhere, Neptune's hopes of ending the season in second place took a hit away to Ulster Elks last weekend, but they will be hoping to return to winning ways at home to Hoops tomorrow.

Irish Independent

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