AFTER the excitement of the National Cup semi-finals on Leeside last weekend, it’s back to the bread and butter basketball when the Men’s and Women’s Super League games kick back into action.
Emporium Cork Basketball were disappointed last weekend when exiting the Pat Duffy Men’s National Cup and despite their loss to Eanna they will now set their sights on winning the Super League.
The game has been well documented and player-coach Ciaran O’Sullivan will be determined to brush the cobwebs away in this game.
Templeogue are having an ordinary season, but they have played the majority of it without Irish international Lorcan Murphy.
The good news for Murphy is that his injury is healing and hopefully he will return in the coming months.
Ballincollig’s American John Dawson showed incredible shooting skills for a five-minute period in the cup loss to Eanna and hopefully, the home crowd will get a glimpse of the American in top form.
Templeogue had a good win at Sligo All Stars in their last game, but it’s highly unlikely they will depart happy campers from Ballincollig Community School.
UCC Demons are on a three-game winning run and they will be confident they will get another when they travel to UCD Marian in the battle of the colours at Belfield.
New American signing MJ Randolph received December’s Player of the Month as he averaged 32 ppg and the coaches recognised his skills in the three games he helped Demons win.
Word is rife that the UCD Marian American Jonathon Jean has returned home and will not be back. If that’s the case the UCD Marian scoring power will be considerably weakened judging by their 38 points against Moycullen which is probably an all-time low for the Men’s Super League.
Demons are playing solid basketball and barring a meltdown there is no reason why they cannot get another win under their belt.
Energywise Ireland Neptune will give a debut to new American signing Tarkus Ferguson, one of the most high-profile players to hit the Irish basketball circuit for many years. Ferguson was a former teammate of Jordan Blount in the University of Illinois and averaged 14 ppg in Division 1 college basketball.
The other good news is that Blount is fit to return following a back spasm and American Jordan Evans is also available for selection after illness.
Tomorrow Neptune will visit Bright St Vincent’s who looked a weak outfit in their semi-final loss to NUIG Maree and the Cork side should be good enough to secure maximum points.
Women’s Super League joint leaders The Address UCC Glanmire host UIG Mystics at the Mardyke Arena on Sunday (2.30pm).
The Glanmire coach Mark Scannell spent last week doing commentaries on various games in the National Cup but this week was all be about getting ready for this improving Galway side.
Scannell has set his sights on maintaining their title challenge and on home terrain they should have no problems securing the points.
Singleton’s Supervalu Brunell were on a high last weekend when their U18 side qualified for the final of the National Cup and on Sunday they welcome Ulster University to the Parochial Hall.
Brunell have been scouring the States for a new American signing and are close to securing a deal, but whether the player in question will be on board for this game remains a doubt.
Edel Thornton won December’s Player of the Month and the Irish senior international captain will need another top class display to dig out a win from this clash.
Fr Mathew’s are on the road tomorrow when they travel to play Waterford Wildcats and coach Niamh Dwyer will be hoping to build on their win against Liffey Celtics.