Basketball: Lehmon Colbert boosts UCC Demons for Thunder test

UCC Demons welcome back star American Lehmon Colbert as they prepare to host Men’s SuperLeague leaders, Swords Thunder, at the Mardyke Arena on Sunday.

Lehmon Colbert in action for UCC Demons. The American will be back as the Cork side face Swords Thunder this weekend. Picture: Pat Moore

Demons are also boosted by the return of point guard Adrian O’Sullivan who missed last week’s defeat to UCD Marian.

It has been a challenging start for Demons who were seriously depleted by injuries to key players, including player-coach Colin O’Reilly since the new season began earlier this month. He said: “It has been tough but credit to the guys who played over the last fortnight, they showed incredible intensity and commitment. Of course, we weren’t playing at the pace I would have liked but now that we are almost back to a full squad, I think our intensity will increase.”

Thunder opened their campaign with impressive wins against Killester and Eanna but coach Dave Baker has endured enough bad experiences on Leeside to leave him wary.

Baker said: “Demons are a tough proposition especially at the Mardyke and we need to give them the required respect as they have many weapons. What Demons achieved over the past fortnight was an incredible feat and now with Colbert back they will be a completely different outfit to face.”

Moycullen coach John Cunningham was disappointed with his side’s home defeat to DCU Mercy last week and they face another daunting task tomorrow with a trip to Killester. The Clontarf side shocked champions Templeogue and with Ciaran Roe and American Royce Williams in tremendous form, they should gain maximum points over the westerners.

League debutants Maree are finding life in the fast lane a little more difficult as they prepare to welcome Garvey’s Tralee Warriors to Oranmore tomorrow. It has been a mixed start to the season for the Kerry side but coach Mark Bernsen believes his team will improve. Bernsen said: “I am happy with our progress and credit to the guys they are working hard on the training court and that’s where it all begins for most sides.”

DCU Saints coach Joey Boylan was encouraged with their win over Moycullen but the visit of Belfast Star will certainly test the credentials of his side while KUBS coach Mark Ingle will be looking for huge improvement if his side are to defeat UCD Marian at Greendale tomorrow.

Champions Templeogue were shocked at home by Killester last week but they will get an opportunity to atone for that defeat when they visit Eanna. Coach Mark Keenan admitted: “We can have no excuses. Our second- half performance wasn’t good enough and hopefully, we can refocus against an Eanna side that could prove difficult opponents.”

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