DCU Saints and Belfast Star will be hoping to come back from their National Cup losses to UCC Demons and Bord Gáis Neptune respectively.
Saints have suffered defeat at the hands of Demons twice already this season and while they could cope with their SuperLeague loss, the Cup exit is bound to be the forefront when they entertain the Cork side at the DCU Sports Complex tomorrow night.
However, Saints coach David Donnelly insists they have put that disappointment behind them and are concentrating on their SuperLeague campaign.
“Many of my players were hoping for a good cup run but, to be fair, they have put it behind them and realise that league points are now a priority,” he said.
Demons have a cup semi-final clash with neighbours Neptune ahead but the SuperLeague is a priority right now according to coach Paul Kelleher: “Having to play DCU three times is not ideal for either side but we have got to stay focused on the job in hand,” he said.
Belfast Star appeared destined for a cup semi-final until Bord Gáis Neptune snatched victory in the dying moments of a thriller and Danny Fulton will be hoping to avenge that when the Cork side return to Anderstown tomorrow night.
“The Neptune Cup defeat shattered me as we let that one out of our grasp: “Playing Neptune at any time is a challenge but I have little doubt my guys will be ready for what should be an interesting game.”
UL Eagles, after dethroning the cup champions, continued their return to form with a big win over Neptune last weekend. It was a performance that delighted coach Mark Keenan and has to give them a major boost in advance of tomorrow night’s clash with his old club, 11890 Killester.
“We played outstanding basketball in the first half against Neptune but we hit brick wall in the third quarter before recovering coming down the stretch,” he recalled.
“Killester are still very much a force to be reckoned with and we will have to be at our best to win this game.We meet again in the national cup semi final but for now all we can do is concentrate on this game and hope we get the points.”
Next week’s big game is at the Mardyke Arena where UCC Demons host Bord Gais Neptune in another Cork derby on Thursday night. They clash again in the semi-finals of the Cup in January.
In the Nivea Women’s SuperLeague, leaders UL gave a clear statement of intent last weekend when they beat DCU Mercy by 20 points on their home court and this weekend they will be the big favourites when they host Oblate Dynamos
Team Montenotte Hotel have two games this weekend when they Liffey Celtics and Waterford Wildcats while DCU Mercy will be hoping to get back to winning ways against Brunell.