Basketball: Cup champions Killester braced for do-or-die challenge in Tralee

Basketball: Cup champions Killester braced for do-or-die challenge in Tralee
Lehmon Colbert, Coughlan C and S Neptune. Picture: Jim Coughlan

Reigning Men’s National Cup champions Pyrobel Killester face a huge test tomorrow when they travel to Tralee to face Garvey’s Tralee Warriors at the Sports Complex.

In recent weeks Killester have lost away to Keane’s Supervalu Killorglin and last weekend in their home derby clash against Griffith College Templeogue.

The biggest problem for Killester this season has been getting an American settled but in recent weeks they signed Kason Harrell with Will Conner returning to the States.

Playing in the cauldron of the Tralee Sports Complex can be daunting and the Killester assistant coach Mark Grennell believes his side will have to produce a season best to compete with the Warriors.

“The bottom line is the Warriors blitzed us in the league on our home court and having to defend our title in Tralee will be a huge test of our character.”

The Warriors haven’t found consistent league form but the chance to book a semi- final in this championship in front of their home fans could well give the impetus to progress.

Coughlan C & S Neptune, who will host the semi finals in January, make the trip to Dublin for a clash against DCU Saints. The Cork side have won their last three league games and their latest win against Belfast Star was a very impressive one.

Player coach Lehmon Colbert is a major worry for Neptune as he presently has a damaged arm that has necessitated intense treatment and a decision on his involvement will not be made until before tip-off.

“We defeated DCU Saints a fortnight ago in the league but it was close and they are a dogged side that are sure to test our credentials.”

Belfast Star coach Adrian Fulton was fuming last weekend when his side lost at Neptune and they face another tough task tomorrow when they host joint Super League leaders Eanna at De La Salle College.

Star dominated Neptune for long periods but coming down the stretch were outgunned much to the annoyance of the Star chief.

“When you control a game like we did against Neptune and end up losing it can be cruel and now we are facing another talented basketball side in Eanna who have the ability to defeat any side in this championship.”

The fourth quarter final of the weekend will see Griffith College Templeogue and Moycullen go head to head at Nord Anglia International School.

Moycullen came out on top when these sides clashed in the league at the NUIG and the Templeogue coach Mark Keenan is delighted his ace Irish International Jason Killeen is back from injury missing two games.

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