Basketball Ireland leagues hit by Covid but hope remains National Cup semis in Cork will go ahead

Priority is to get the National Cup semi-final weekend played on January 7-9 in Neptune and Parochial Hall
Basketball Ireland leagues hit by Covid but hope remains National Cup semis in Cork will go ahead

Andre Nation, Tradehouse Central Ballincollig, in action against Belfast Star BC recently. Picture: Larry Cummins.

A TOTAL of 10 National League fixtures this Bank Holiday weekend have been postponed due to Covid-19, including four Super League games and two Super League contests. 

It follows three postponements in Basketball Ireland's National League on Wednesday and Thursday. 

Tradehouse Central Ballincollig versus Garvey’s Tralee Warriors, Killester against Bright DCU Saints, Griffith College Templeogue's game with UCD Marian, and Moycullen versus C&S Neptune are all postponed in the Super League, while Leixlip Amenities Liffey Celtics against DCU Mercy, and WIT Waterford Wildcats’ game with The Address UCC Glanmire have been put back in the Super League.

 Team captain Aine McKenna, The Address UCC Glanmire in action against IT Carlow. Picture: Larry Cummins. 
Team captain Aine McKenna, The Address UCC Glanmire in action against IT Carlow. Picture: Larry Cummins. 

Two upcoming Super League fixtures - Killester versus Trinity Meteors and IT Carlow Basketball against Fr Mathew's, scheduled this Sunday and Monday, remain unaffected so far, with decisions to be made on each fixture on a case-by-case basis. 

Last Wednesday's Super League game between Singleton SuperValu Brunell and Team Garvey's St Mary's was called off, as was the Division 1 contest between NUIG Mystics and Portlaoise Panthers. Thursday's fixture in the Division 1 between Limerick Sport Eagles and UCC Demons was also deferred.

The five National League fixtures that currently remain unaffected by Covid-19 are being assessed by the Men's National Competitions Committee and Women's National League Committee. These committees and Basketball Ireland's National League manager are in regular contact with participating teams. These fixtures are subject to postponement at short notice, should teams be affected by Covid-19.

Basketball Ireland National League manager John Walsh said: “We are in constant dialogue with clubs on fixtures and naturally things are changing day-by-day. We are in unprecedented times at the moment with Covid-19 affecting all sports across the country. We will update basketball fans with any fixture cancellations as soon as possible.” 

Breda Dick, chair of the WNLC, added: “Considering the most recent Covid government guidelines and in the interest of players, coaches, and officials' welfare we have decided to postpone a number of games this weekend. The WNLC will look to get these games rescheduled as soon as possible.” 

Gerry Kelly, chair of the MNCC, said: “Naturally it is disappointing to see fixtures postponed, but the welfare of our players, coaches, officials, and fans is at the forefront of our minds. We will reschedule any postponed games at a later date.

"I would also like to thank all of the clubs, and our new chief executive John Feehan, in their continued efforts to curtail the spread of Covid-19 and to ensure that the showcase National Cup semi-finals weekend can go ahead without disruption."

Basketball Ireland CEO, John Feehan, stated: “We expected our basketball calendar to be impacted by Covid-19 and have been busy working on contingency plans. 

Our committees, clubs and National League manager have been in constant communication and we’d like to reassure that all parties are doing their utmost to minimise the disruption, including to the upcoming National Cup semi-finals early next month.” 

Basketball Ireland will publish updated information as it becomes available on the Basketball Ireland website.

Two National League games did take place this week. In the Super League, NUIG Maree defeated Team 360 Financial Killorglin 102-92 on Wednesday.

Lovre Tvrdic (30 points) and Deondre Jackson (25 points) scored impressively for NUIG Maree, with Jeryn Lucas contributing 13 points. Team 360 Financial Killorglin also had standout shooters, with Allan Thomas (30 points) and Simon Francis (22 points) driving the offence.

In the Division 1, Scotts Lakers Killarney secured an 89-66 away win on Thursday over local rivals Killarney Cougars. Godwin Boahen scored 29 points for Scotts Lakers Killarney, with Emiliyan Grudov (26) and David Gleeson (14) also contributing well to the scoreboard. Justin Tuason was the main threat from Killarney Cougars, posting 25 points. Andrew Fitzgerald (12) was the next top scorer for the home team.

Following this weekend, the and National Leagues will be on hold until after the National Cup semi-finals, which take place in Cork from January 7-9.

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