Injury headaches for UCC Demons ahead of Marian clash

UCC Demons have major injury problems, following last week’s heroic Men’s Super League win over Garvey’s Tralee Warriors, for tomorrow’s game away to UCD Marian.

Player-coach Colin O’Reilly and Adrian O’Sullivan are ruled out as the team could be restricted to seven players with Shane Buckley also on the injury list.

Demons’ gutsy performance against the Warriors came in for many plaudits as they await the arrival of American Lehmon Colbert.

Club chiefs hope work visa issues will be resolved in time for this weekend’s trip to the capital.

UCD Marian, playing their first game of the season, are again powered by American Mike Garrow as Greek-born coach Ioannis Liapakis looks forward to another battle of colours at Belfield. Liapakis said: “Demons’ win against Tralee has put all teams on high alert on what they are about to face as they have a squad of battling players.”

Champions Templogue should have a capacity attendance at Inchicore when they host fellow Dublin side Killester.

Templogue were impressive defeating DCU Saints last week, but coach Mark Keenan believes Killester will be a tougher test.

Keenan said: “No disrespect to DCU Saints but I do feel Killester will be more difficult as they have an excellent American in Royce Williams and with Kieran O’Brien back it gives them extra strength at the post.”

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors’ coach Mark Bernsen was disappointed last week with that defeat in Cork and wants a much-improved showing at home to Kubs. Bernsen said: “Sometimes a defeat can help take you going forward and I would like to think that will be the case for us. We are the best-supported team in the league and I am hoping we can put a smile on the faces of our faithful fans.”

Moycullen coach John Cunningham was delighted with their opening win against fellow Galway side Maree as they get ready to welcome DCU Saints to NUIG. Saints lost to Templeogue last week but coach Joey Boylan believes his young side will get better as the campaign matures.

Boylan said: “I thought after a poor first half against Templeogue, my players got used to life in the fast lane and we improved immensely in the second against a quality side.”

Belfast Star secured an impressive win in Dublin last weekend against Kubs and coach Darren O’Neill is hoping home advantage against league debutants Maree will help continue their winning ways.

“I was thrilled in the manner we saw off Kubs and let’s hope the trend continues against Maree,” said O’Neill. “We will be taking nothing for granted as Maree have some very decent Irish players that are capable of posing us problems.”

One step beyond: Basketball’s new rule change

If you’re at a Superleague game this weekend, and see a blatant ‘travel’ call go undetected, fear not — you’re not losing your mind or ability to count steps, writes Tony Leen.

New rules have been introduced by FIBA, Europe’s governing body, in recent weeks, one of which essentially gives an extra step to a player without dribbling the ball. Other changes relate to unsportsmanlike fouls, faking, and disqualifying fouls, but the change to the travel rule is the most talked about.

FIBA national referee instructor Paul Dempsey explained, “This change concerns how a player establishes his/her pivot foot when they receive the ball and also at the end of their dribble. It’s very important not just for our leagues going forward, but also in how coaches will teach players.

“It can be quite hard to explain it in words, but essentially the start of a dribble after receiving a pass or catching the ball will become less strict.”

He added, “A player who receives the ball and catches it while moving shall release the ball to start their dribble before their foot touches the floor at their second step. Up to now the ball had to leave the hand of the player before his foot, that touched the floor at the first step, leaves the floor.” Which, in layman’s terms, means an extra step allowed without putting the ball on the floor.

The rule change will be effective officially from October 1 across all levels and age groups.

“Games should flow quicker with less stoppages and, as a result, games should be an even better spectacle for all.

“These changes to the rules could turn out to be the most important changes for many years.

“In isolation, each helps to improve the game but collectively, they will all make the game more free flowing and dynamic.”

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