UCC DEMONS produced champagne basketball to defeat Garvey’s Tralee Warriors in the opening game of the Men’s Super League at a packed Mardyke Arena on Friday night.
Demons played without American Lehmon Colbert, whose work permit is holding up his arrival in Ireland.
On top of that Demons had only seven fit players, but against all the odds, they produced an exhibition of superb uptempo basketball that rocked the championship pretenders.
The Kerry side had American Trae Pemberton and Bosman players Dusan Bogdanovic and Goran Pantovic, but they failed to match the intensity of this Demons side. Kerry football star Kieran Donaghy was also involved on a day when his wife gave birth to a baby girl.
For Demons captain Kyle Hosford, who was simply awesome at times, this win was about the traditions that are associated with the club.
“In all honesty, nobody gave us a chance, but look at the end of the day, basketball is about commitment and belief, and I thought this was a performance to cherish for our team and fans,” Kyle Hosford said.
Last season Hosford spent almost the entire season injured before having an operation on his knee over the summer and he was delighted to be back playing.
“I was frustrated last season, but look we have lost so many players and having no American against Tralee was a recipe for a blowout,” added Hosford.
The Demons' Irish international believes they will battle hard this season despite having a thinner squad.
“Colin O’Reilly is not alone just a great player but he prepares our team very well for games, and I think the good thing about this win was it was down to a sheer team effort. Let’s hope the lads that picked up injuries will respond to treatment as we cannot afford to lose any more players.
"But this was a great win, a great start to the season, but we need to keep it going. It's only going to get tougher from here on in."
Meanwhile, Ballincollig won their first national league game on Saturday afternoon when they beat Donegal in front of a good crowd at the Community School.
BFG Neptune won both their games, home and away, over the weekend, while Fr Mathew's got the better of Portlaoise.