Demons are bidding for their third consecutive title and with the club celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2016, a hat-trick would mark that landmark nicely.
Ace guard Roy Downey, who moved from Neptune in the summer, looks forward to playing in the competition for the first time in Demons colours
“We will be taking nothing for granted as the cup can throw up some funny results in various grades and complacency will not be an issue,” Downey said.
But Demons are presently on a five-game winning run and Downey is confident they will do the business.
“We have already defeated them in the league and we know what to expect from them in this game,” he added.
The UL camp was despondent after they amassed just 46 points in last week’s home defeat to UCD Marian and for coach Paul Kelleher this is a difficult period for his young side. “Neil Campbell and Stephen King are both ruled out and many of my young players will be asked to compete against the best side in the country,” Kelleher said.
Moycullen have reportedly dispensed with the services of American Matt Burke as they get ready to play Templeogue at the NUIG.
The Dubliners are the only unbeaten side in the league and coach Mark Keenan hopes ace post player Jason Killeen will return for his first appearance of the season.
“We are in good shape and playing good basketball but Moycullen are a decent side and we will have to be careful as the first game is only half-time,” Keenan said.
“Jason Killeen has been working hard to play in this game and we will see how he comes through the week.”
UCD Marian should have too much power for their clash with DCU Saints, who still seek their first win of the season. It has been a tough season for DCU but veteran coach Joey Boylan is happy his young players are acclimatising to the league.
“This is a transition year for us but all we can do is keep trying and hopefully things will change for the better in the coming years with the players we have coming through our underage levels,” Boylan said.
Swords Thunder are another side coming into form and they should have too much for Eanna on their home court.
Under coach Dave Baker, Swords defeated Killester last week and he wants a repeat performance.
“We will be hoping to build up a good lead to take into our second leg,” Baker said.
Belfast Star lost to C & S UCC Demons in the league on Saturday but coach Neil McCotter is confident his side can rise to the challenge for a home clash with Killester.
“It will be tough but we have players capable of posing Killester problems,” McCotter said.
The only first round game in the Premier Women’s National cup sees Singleton’s Supervalu Brunell host Portlaoise Panthers at Gurranabraher.