Neptune peaking at just the right time
BASKETBALL:What a difference a month makes? This time in January, Bord Gáis Neptune had drifted three games out of first place in the Nivea For Men’s Superleague after a second straight loss to bitter rivals UCC Demons and were given little chance in their upcoming Superleague Cup semi-final against their Cork city neighbours.
Tomorrow Neptune face UL Eagles, the team they beat in the cup final, knowing a win would leave them just one game off top spot.
Their rise has been helped in part by surprising losses by Eagles and Demons, who both dropped games to Killester in January.
The various results have set up one of the most interesting season run-ins in recent memory. In a change from years past, the league will not be decided by playoffs but instead by a straight points tally.
With Neptune, Demons and Eagles all tightly bunched at the top of the table, every game from here to March 9th will be crucial.
While Neptune and Eagles fight it out in Limerick, UCC Demons will need to rediscover their early season momentum in a hurry as they play UCD Marian in Dublin tomorrow night. It is a must-win for the Leesiders and head coach Paul Kelleher will be anxious to avoid relying on another last-second shot to win, as happened on the last time the sides met.
In the Women’s Superleague, second-placed Team Montenotte Hotel Cork travel to Dublin on Sunday to face third -placed DCU Mercy. Mercy won the earlier meeting between the teams in Cork and a similar display this weekend would see them climb above their Cork rivals due to a better head-to-head record.
TOMORROW – Men’s Superleague – DCU Saints v Dublin Inter, DCU Complex, 7pm; UCD Marian v UCC Demons, National Basketball Arena, 7pm; UL Eagles v Bord Gáis Neptune, UL Arena, 7.30pm; Killester v Moycullen, IWA Clontarf, 8pm. Women’s Superleague – WIT Wildcats v Ulster Rockets, Mercy College, 4.45pm; Killester v UL Huskies, IWA Clontarf, 6pm; Meteors v Liffey Celtics, Coláiste Iosagáin, 7pm . SUNDAY – Women’s Superleague – Singleton Supervalu Brunell v Ulster Rockets Parochial Hall, Cork, 14:45pm, DCU Mercy v Team Montenotte Hotel Cork, DCU Complex, 3.30pm.