TRADEHOUSE Central Ballincollig will be hoping to maintain their unbeaten record in the Men’s Super League when they host Belfast Star at Ballincollig Community School tomorrow.
To be fair, the season to date has been kind to Ballincollig but in the words of joint head coach Kieran O’Sullivan, they don’t get any tougher than playing Star whether it’s home or away.
“Star have always produced quality sides and when you have a coach as good as Adrian Fulton there is always something of the unexpected thrown at you,” said Kieran O’Sullivan.
Ballincollig showed great composure last weekend when winning away at Templogue and restricting them to 62 points was a huge plus to come out of the game according to O’Sullivan.
“We always pride ourselves in how we play defence and thankfully we have done well all season in that department and it would be nice to finish the first half of the season unbeaten,” added O’Sullivan.
It has been a great season to date for the Ballincollig American Andre Nation as he now looks the best professional in the league.
Nation is quick and when he focuses on defence he is capable of mixing it with the best.
The return of Adrian O’Sullivan was another huge addition to Ballincollig and with brother Ciaran returning to the starting five in recent games they now look to have more scoring options. Another great addition this season has been Milorad Sedlarevic who plays both ends of the floor.
Dylan Corkery, Keelan Cairns, Padraig Lucey and Spanish ace Pau Cami have all contributed on court too, as they bid for their eighth consecutive win in this championship.
The northerners under coach Adrian Fulton defeated Tralee Warriors last weekend and the Star chief believes his side's progress will be tested in this game.
“We have been unlucky with injuries losing Paul Dick, Adrian Quinn and Paul Pettigrew but the guys are working hard and there is no better place to come than Cork if you want a high-intensity game against an unbeaten Ballincollig side,” said Fulton.
C & S Neptune are back on home terrain after three games in the capital as they get ready to welcome DCU Saints to the Neptune Stadium.
Neptune who have qualified for the Pat Duffy National Cup semi-final were defeated last weekend by Eanna but assistant coach Darren Geaney believes they can bounce back from that loss.
“To be honest there was nothing to choose between the teams and one or two calls went against us but we have prepared hard this week and hopefully there will be a response against the Saints,” said Darren Geaney.
Neptune were without their Catalonian star Nil Sabata last weekend as he remained in Cork to be with his partner who was hospitalised but is expected to return against the Saints.
Captain Roy Downey is playing out of his skin and in Cian Heaphy, they have one of the best athletes in the league.
UCC Demons are unbeaten in the first round of the Men’s Division 1 National League and tomorrow they welcome Killarney Cougars to the Parochial Hall.
Demons will be without their inspirational Irish Senior captain Kyle Hosford who picked up a slight injury last week and coach Danny O’Mahony has decided to rest him.
“Kyle has played a lot of basketball in the last few months and we will let him sit out this one and that’s no disrespect to the Cougars who have some quality players in their squad,” said O’Mahony.
The form of Demons has been good this season and new signing Toby Christensen has done relatively well in his scoring averages.
Christensen looks a good finisher when close to the hoop but he needs to concentrate on that side of his game instead of moving outside the arc.
David Lehane is an excellent shooter and Jack O’Leary is a serious prospect at the point.
Kevin Moynihan brings some steel to the side and this is also needed in a controlled manner as some of the games in this division can be on the physical side.
In Tala Thiam Fam Demons unearthed some talent as the Spanish star who arrived in this country five years ago is an incredible athlete.
On current form Demons should win this game in a canter and barring a complete meltdown they will go into the Christmas break on a winning note.