Team Montenotte’s unbeaten record in the Women’s Premier League is sure to be tested when they play joint leaders Courtyard Liffey Celtics at Upper Glanmire Sports Centre tomorrow.
Montenotte did not play last weekend but coach Mark Scannell is adamant his side will be ready for what he describes as a very difficult assignment.
Scannell said: “Liffey Celtics are the form team in the league at this present time and we will have to be tuned in from tip-off.”
This season the Kildare side signed Meagan Hoffman and Suzanne Maguire, two former DCU Mercy stars, and Scannell knows his team will be tested in the physicality stakes.
“Hoffman, Maguire and Aine O’Connor are all over the six foot and know how to mix it but I am sure there are players in my squad who will relish the challenge of containing them,” added Scannell.
Liffey coach Vinnie O’Keeffe, who featured as a player and coach with DCU Saints for many years, is in his second season with the Leixlip club and looking forward to the game.
“I didn’t know what to expect when I started coaching in this league but I am pleasantly surprised in what I have witnessed all over the country,” he said.
O’Keeffe believes this game will gauge the progress of his side. “Team Montenotte’s record in Irish basketball speaks for itself and we have a lot winning to do in order for us to be classed in the same league as this club.”
After playing six away games, men’s Premier League leaders C&S UCC Demons will finally get home court advantage when they host UL Eagles at the Mardyke Arena on Sunday.
Player-coach Colin O’Reilly is playing superb basketball and is hoping his team can give their loyal supporters something to cheer about.
O’Reilly said: “We are looking forward to the game and will show UL the respect they deserve.”
Travelodge Swords Thunder were fortunate to win against UCD Marian on Sunday last and they will be hoping to improve when they host DCU Saints.
Swords won the game following a dubious decision that allowed American Spenser Mitchell nail two free throws and coach Dave Baker had sympathy for the students.
“If that decision went against my team I would have been very angry but that’s the nature of the beast and we must show more hunger against Saints,” Baker said.
Belfast Star have shown major improvement in their last three games and they will relish the challenge of hosting BFG Neptune. Star have signed American Ricky Taylor, the former Newcastle Eagles point guard, and he has shown enough of quality to suggest Neptune will need to be on their guard.
Star coach Neil McCotter is delighted with the progress his young side are making. “As the season matures our team is getting better, but we are a playing a club that are steeped with a winning mentality,” McCotter said.
Neptune are still without American Michael Bonaparte but player-coach Ger Noonan will be demanding a big performance from his side.
Noonan said: “We have a crucial cup game pending against UCD Marian and we need to get momentum with a win against Star.”
In the remaining Women’s Premier league games, Killester should have too much scoring power for UL Huskies at Clontarf.
Singletons Supervalu Brunell are another side looking to get back to winning ways as WIT Wildcats visit the Parochial Hall with a home win likely.
Men’s Premier League: Travelodge Swords Thunder v DCU Saints, ALSAA, Dublin 6pm.
Women's Premier League: Team Montenotte Hotel v Courtyard Liffey Celtics, Upper Glanmire SC, 5pm; Killester v UL Huskies, Clontarf, 6pm.
Men's Division One: Eanna v Fr Mathews, Knocklyon, 5pm; Maree v Moycullen, Oranmore, 5pm.
Women's Division One: ITC Basketball v Oblate Dynamos, Carlow, 3pm; Garvey’s Tralee Imperials v NUIG Mystics, Mounthawk, 7pm; Team Denjoes v Portlaoise Panthers, Castleisland CC, 7.30pm.
U20 Men's National Cup: Limerick Lakers BC v St Vincent's BC, St Clements Gym, 11.30am; St Brendan’s Tralee v Belfast Star, Moyderwell, 3.30pm.
U20 Women's National Cup: UCD v Glanmire, Coláiste Iosagain, 4pm.
Men's Premier League: Belfast Star v BFG Neptune, Methodist College, 3pm; Dublin Inter v Killester, Mountview Y&C Club, 3pm; C&S UCC Demons v UL Eagles, Mardyke, 3.15pm.
Women's Premier League: Singleton Supervalu Brunell v Maxol WIT Wildcats, Parochial Hall, 2.45pm.
Men's Division One: C&S Blue Demons v Tolka Rovers, Mardyke, 1pm.
U20 Men's National Cup: Neptune BC v Sligo All Stars, Neptune Stadium, 2pm; KUBS v Moycullen, Greendale, 6pm.
U20 Women's National Cup: DCU Mercy v Meteors, DCU, 2.30pm; Liffey Celtics v St Colms, Leixlip, 1.30pm.
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