EMPORIUM Cork Basketball will head to the capital tomorrow with all preparations concluded for the biggest game in the clubs history.
University of Galway Maree stand between the Ballincollig side and the biggest prize in Men’s Irish basketball the coveted Super League title in only their second season competing at this level.
The westerners have already defeated Ballincollig twice in the regular season and player-coach Ciaran O’Sullivan will be well aware of the challenge that faces his side.
On the plus side Ballincolligh do have a squad that match up well to Maree and although getting over UCC Demons in the semi-final their opening 20 minutes wouldn’t be good enough in this decider.
In that game, Ballincollig got big performances from Spanish ace Jose Jimenez Gonzalez (27) and American John Dawson (21). Keelan Cairns led the Irish scorers on 10 points but they will need a lot more from the likes of Adrian O’Sullivan who only contributed six points in almost 32 minutes of court time.
Dylan Corkery although only amassing five points in 17.35 had a superb game defensively and was one of the heroes when the game was on the line.
Ronan O’Sullivan isn't the player we saw a couple of seasons ago but can step here and player-coach Ciaran O’Sullivan who is now concentrating on his coaching role may be needed off the bench for his shooting skills.
Maree have already experienced glory at basketball headquarters this season when winning the National Cup and they have a quality American in Jarrett Haines who nailed 31 points in their semi-final win against Belfast Star.
The other two professionals Zvonimir Cutuk (21) and Rodrigo Gomez (18) are quality players and much will depend on how Ballincollig plan to shut down the threat of this trio. The Galway side are likely to be missing Eoin Rockall who will be attending the wedding of his brother and they will need to have big performances from John Burke, Stephen Commins and Cathal Finn.
Another Cork team are also involved at the National Basketball Arena when The Address UCC Glanmire face DCU Mercy in the Women’s Champions Trophy final.
When these sides clash anything goes but Glanmire will be without Claire O’Sullivan and her recent form will be missed by the Cork club.
On the plus side for the Glanmire coach Mark Scannell will be expecting his decent array of Irish players to step up to the plate.
The Glanmire Americans Brittany Byrd and Khia Rasheed are capable of hurting DCU whose Americans Lindsay Abed and Amelia Motz are average and that should give Glanmire the edge in the battle of the professionals.
A game that is sure to be hotly contested but Glanmire will be confident of completing the elusive double.