Monday 11 December 2017

Basketball: Price tuned into Killester threat ahead of crunch test

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

NEPTUNE will look to take advantage of Killester's recent run of poor league form as they continue their chase for a Southern Conference play-off spot.

However, the Dubliners bounced back from two successive defeats by beating UL Eagles to bag a National Cup final place last weekend, so the Cork side won't take things for granted against the champions tomorrow.

Neptune are a point behind UCC Demons in third place and need to keep the pressure up on the sides above them.

The visit of Killester is not usually a match any team would rely on to propel themselves up the league, but Pat Price's men could do with the boost that a good result would bring.

"Killester displayed over the weekend why they are still the class of the SuperLeague," said Price.

"The return of Paddy Kelly has really boosted their performances and we will need a very strong and focused 40 minutes to achieve success against them."

Neptune are without Ian McLaughlin, while Michael Goj will miss the trip south, and Killester boss Mark Keenan is wary of the hosts' attacking quality.

"Neptune are a very well organised and dangerous team," he said. "They are averaging 84 points a game, which is one of the highest in the league. They have several guys that can score big points. We will be looking to continue our form from last week's win in the cup."

UCD Marian, Killester's cup final opponents, will look to continue the feel-good factor garnered last week when reaching the blue riband decider for the first time.

They are also looking to keep their play-off hopes on track against Moycullen at NUIG tomorrow as they continue to do battle with DCU Saints for second place. The Galway men won the corresponding game last season and coach Fran Ryan is wary of complacency.

"We will focus as completely as we do with all other league and cup games. We know this game is hugely important to win in our chase for a play-off spot at the end of the season," said Ryan.

"We lost the corresponding game last year, so there is no underestimation of Moycullen's ability."

DCU take on UCC Demons at home, while UL Eagles travel north to take on Belfast Star.

In the women's SuperLeague, Team Montenotte Hotel travel to Dublin to take on Dynamos, while beaten cup semi-finalists Killester and Waterford Wildcats meet in Clontarf.

Irish Independent

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