Dublin Inter will look to stay on a roll
BASKETBALL:AS THE Nivea Women’s Superleague kicks off this weekend, the men’s Superleague enters its second week with first-year entrants, Dublin Inter, looking to make it two wins from two.
Inter enjoyed the perfect start to life in the top tier of Irish basketball last week with a surprisingly comprehensive win over a veteran DCU Saints outfit.
Their 15-point winning margin turned a lot of heads and many will be keen to see if the new boys on the block can travel down to Cork, where they face UCC Demons on Sunday, and pull off back-to-back upsets.
In Dublin, the weekend’s action is no less compelling, with two games taking place in the capital on Saturday night. DCU Saints welcome Moycullen, while UCD Marian play host to Bord Gais Neptune.
Moycullen, Marian and Neptune lost their respective first round games by a cumulative 13 points and will be eager to avoid following those close losses with another.
For their part, DCU were league finalists last March and will not want to fall two games behind the league leaders with a loss to Moycullen and therefore seriously dent their genuine title aspirations.
The most intriguing match-up of the weekend perhaps lies in Limerick where the league champions from the last two seasons meet as UL Eagles play Killester. A healthy rivalry has built up between the perennial league toppers and extra spice was added last season with the move by head coach Mark Keenan from Killester to Limerick.
He went on to guide his new team to the cup and league title, wrestling those prizes away from their previous homes in Killester trophy cabinets.
The sides appear evenly matched this year with both persevering in tight games last weekend.
This weekend also marks the beginning of the Nivea Women’s Superleague as title favourites University of Limerick, Team Montenotte Hotel Cork and DCU Mercy will all look to set early markers for the season ahead.
With each new season comes hope however and the likes of Killester, who travel to UL on Saturday and Meteors, who travel to Cork the same day, will be intrigued to see if the summer’s training has helped or hindered the closing of the gap between the top three and the rest.
The same goes for Waterford Wildcats who get their season under way with a home game versus Liffey Celtic with Ulster Rockets hosting DCU Mercy.
Saturday: Men’s Superleague – DCU Saints v Moycullen, DCU Complex, 7.0; UCD Marian v Bord Gais Neptune, UCD, 7.10; UL Eagles v Killester, UL Arena, 7.30. Women’s Superleague – UL Basketball Club v Killester, UL Arena, 5.0; Ulster Rockets v DCU Mercy, De La Salle, 6.30; TM Hotel Cork v Meteors, Upper Glanmire Sports Centre, 7.0; Waterford Wildcats v Liffey Celtics, Mercy College, 7.0.
Sunday: Men’s Superleague – UCC Demons v Dublin Inter, Mardyke, 3.30.