Sunday 17 December 2017

Basketball: Price banking on Neptune's momentum

Neil Ahern

THIS weekend could be a pivotal one for Cork rivals UCC Demons and Neptune in their battle for the second play-off spot in the Men's Superleague Southern Conference.

With the two teams sitting joint second behind runaway leaders UL Eagles, Demons will be desperate to atone for their National Cup final defeat and they have a chance to pull away in a busy weekend as they face a double-header, taking on Hoops tomorrow and Moycullen on Sunday.

Neptune, meanwhile, host the Northern Conference's second-placed side Belfast Star and Neptune head coach Pat Price believes it's crucial that his side maintain their current run of form if they are to halt UCC in the defence of their Superleague title.

"Belfast Star will be a tough challenge for us but we will hope to continue our good run and we will be relying on a strong defence to hold our home court," he said.

"But we have shown steady improvements in a number of areas, and now we need to carry this momentum straight to the last weekend of the season."

The race for the second play-off spot in the Northern Conference is just as enthralling and DCU Saints star Emmet Donnelly is aware of the importance of returning to winning ways against Moycullen tomorrow, after a 69-60 defeat to Neptune last weekend.

"We know Galway will be a tough game for us but it's an opportunity to bounce back and stake a real claim for a play-off spot and keep the heat on Star, who are only a game ahead," he said.

"We didn't do ourselves justice offensively against Neptune and couldn't buy a basket but it's up to us as players to respond to that in the right way."

Irish Independent

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