ENERGYWISE Ireland Neptune will be hoping that new American signing Tarkus Ferguson will keep their title charge on track when they entertain Flexachem Killorglin at the Neptune Stadium tomorrow (6.30pm).
Ferguson is rated one of the most high-profile players to land on Irish shores in many years and in his first game he gave a dazzling exhibition of outside shooting.
Ironically, Ferguson was a former college teammate of Jordan Blount and averaged 14ppg playing a high level of division one college basketball.
Neptune now have two Americans at their disposal as Jordan Evans is still part of the squad and they now look a side capable of making a serious title challenge.
Killorglin have their part have some decent professionals in Robert Alan Kelly and Pharroh Gordon but they were demolished by Sligo All-Stars in their last league clash.
Neptune have a quality starting five and players like Nil Sabata, Jordan Blount and Roy Downey could very well lay the foundation for a comfortable win.
Emporium Cork Basketball entertain Tralee Warriors at Ballincollig Community School tomorrow in what should be a huge test for the Cork side.
Ballincollig on their best day are a match for the best sides on their home court but their games against Tralee Warriors in the last couple of seasons have been tight.
There is little doubt the Ballincollig player-coach Ciaran O’Sullivan will be expecting a far bigger contribution from American John Dawson. Dawson could only manage 10 points in their last home game against Templeogue and he will need to do better against the Warriors.
When the Warriors cross the county bounds there is always an extra edge to their game and the Kieran Donaghy factor will be crucial if they are to return to the Kingdom with maximum points.
This game has all the ingredients of a thrilling encounter and if Ballincollig play to their potential there is every chance they will secure the points.
UCC Demons are the third Cork team to have home advantage this weekend as they welcome Dublin side Eanna to the Mardyke Arena on Sunday who were defeated in last weekend’s National Cup final by University of Galway Maree.
The shooting statistics in this game were frightening as Eanna attempted 47 three-point shots and only made 10.
In fairness Eanna are a very good side that share the ball well and coach Darren McGovern will be hoping his side shoot the ball with more accuracy in this crucial clash. Before the cup final Eanna also lost on the road to Tralee Warriors and they certainly will not want a third defeat on the bounce.
Demons' new American signing MJ Randolph has been a revelation since joining the Sunday’s Well club but this will be his toughest test to date in the league. Demons will have to be at their very best to win but there is a chance if Eanna have a cup hangover and it should be a cracking afternoon at the Mardyke Arena.
Women’s Super League leaders The Address UCC Glanmire make a trip to Kildare tomorrow for a crucial clash against Liffey Celtics.
Glanmire are a good side on the road as they proved a few weeks ago when dismantling National cup champions Killester at Clontarf.
The one worry for Glanmire has been the recent form of American Brittany Byrd who has been struggling in the offence court.
Byrd is a quality player when in full flight and more will also be expected of Amy Dooley and Mia Furlong as Celtics can be a tough physical side on the boards. Fr Mathew’s were traumatised when losing away to Waterford Wildcats a fortnight ago but coach Niamh Dwyer will be expected to have her side primed for the visit of Ulster University.
The northerners have improved but surely Mathew’s will have learned from their defeat at Wildcats that should secure them the vital home points.
On Sunday Singleton’s Supervalu Brunell entertain University of Galway Mystics at the Parochial Hall (2.45pm).