ALL three Men’s Super League teams are on the road this weekend with Emporium Cork Basketball facing the longest trip as they head north to face Belfast Star.
Ballincollig were impressive last weekend when easily accounting for Moycullen in Galway, but their star guard Adrian O’Sullivan picked up an injury seven minutes into the game and is presently getting treatment.
The one plus for Ballincollig was that player-coach Ciaran O’Sullivan used his full complement of 12 players against Moycullen and that will stand to them for this fixture on the road.
Star travelled to UCD Marian last weekend and came away with a 23-point win with American Max Richardson with an impressive 33 points. Granted UCD Marian do not possess the same quality as the elite sides in the league but their home court at Belfield can be a difficult one to get a result.
The Quinn brothers Aidan and Conor haven’t set the league alight this season but the one plus with Star is their coach Adrian Fulton is one of the best in the league.
There is little doubt Ballincollig’s American John Dawson came to this country with a solid pedigree, but his numbers are not reflecting his true quality. The one guarantee you got from Ballincollig’s previous professional Andre Nation was consistently high double-scoring ratios and Dawson needs to work on increasing his averages.
Keelan Cairns is slowly beginning to give his team more outside of shooting outside the paint and Dylan Corkery is a consistent player at both ends of the court.
The Spanish duo of Jose Jimenez Gonzalez and Pau Cami Galera are always prepared to put their bodies on the line and the Cork side should have enough to gain maximum points.
UCC Demons are sure to be tested when they travel to play Killester at the IWA in Clontarf. Killester are always a tough side to play on their home court but their performance in defeating Griffith College Templeogue 90-85 wasn’t one of their best this season.
Demons fans are presently in rapture following their derby win over Energywise Ireland Neptune and in American MJ Randolph they have secured the most talented professional in the league.
When you look at Randolph he can shoot, take the ball to the hoop, defend, rebound and assist and not many professionals tick all these boxes.
Demons' Bosman Kingsley Nwagboso has improved big time since the arrival of Randolph and his improvement has been a key to their vast improvement.
At the start of the season, Nwagboso was struggling big time but he is a big frame that can upset teams at the post.
Killester have Irish international Paul Dick who is a vey talented player but tends to see a lot of ball. Dick plays on the edge at times and maybe will be given the opportunity of shutting down Randolph as their American Conroy Baltimore would struggle in that department.
There is little doubt this is another huge test for Demons but if they bring the right attitude to Clontarf they could well chalk up another win.
Energywise Ireland Neptune travel to play UCD Marian and barring a total meltdown should secure maximum points without too much fuss.
Watching Neptune in their derby defeat to UCC Demons there is something missing that’s hard to nail down.
Looking at the Neptune squad having two Americans, two Spanish players and Jordan Blount one would think that would be enough to dominate this league. The one missing ingredient for me is passion and togetherness that are needed in games of high magnitude.
New signing Tarkus Ferguson looked impressive in his opening two games but was out of sorts in the derby defeat and he will need to improve in the coming weeks if his side are to be treated as serious title challengers.
This is the ideal game for Neptune to put the Demons defeat behind them and barring a total meltdown they should return to Cork with maximum points.