herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

dubs to show no mercy as dcu chase double and killester size up final hurdle of a treble

THE Nivea For Men's SuperLeague and IrishSport.TV Women's SuperLeague season draws to a close this Saturday with an intriguing final line-up set for the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght. Killester will be hoping to complete the treble when they take on a UL Eagles outfit looking for their first National League title, while old foes Team Montenotte Hotel Cork and DCU Mercy clash in the women's final.

NIVEA FOR MEN'S SUPERLEAGUE FINAL

Killester v UL Eagles, National Basketball Arena; 6.0

Killester are no stranger to securing National League titles but their last two final appearances ended in defeats by Abrakebabra Tralee Tigers (2008) and UCC Demons (2009), a record head coach Mark Keenan is keen to bring to an end.

"We are just delighted to be back in a final and to have a chance to do the treble," said Keenan. "There is plenty of motivation and determination having lost the last two league finals."

They will start Saturday's game as favourites after a devastating display saw them claim National Cup glory in January before they secured their fourth Regular Season crown in a row just weeks later.

Jermaine Turner was the star of the show in January and Keenan will be looking for more of the same from the US star, while the experienced trio of Paddy Kelly, Pete Madsen and Damien Sealy are also expected to play a big part.

Turner's battle with UL Eagles' 6'11" centre Stuart Robbins could well determine the destination of this year's crown with the latter impressing greatly since his move from Bayern Munich in the summer.

Robbins' form has seen him average 24.28 points this season, the fifth best average in the league but UL head coach Tony Hehir also has a wealth of talent to choose from this weekend.

Captain Neil Campbell has been instrumental for Eagles this season, while Irish international Scott Kinevane is one to watch this weekend after a string of impressive displays.

Another player keen to finally get his hands on some silverware this season is Matt Hall, the Welshman who has spent eight years with the Limerick club.

UL will be under no illusions regarding the task they face with three meetings with Killester this season resulting in three defeats.

"They (Killester) have beaten us three times this season but hopefully we will give them a good run this time," said Hehir.

Killester started their trio of wins over UL when they ended their National Cup hopes at the quarter final stage before wins in the Regular Season in December (93-83) and March (94-83).

IRISHSPORT.TV WOMEN'S SUPERLEAGUE FINAL

Team Montenotte Hotel Cork v DCU Mercy, National Basketball Arena; 4:0

The prospect of another major final featuring Team Montenotte Hotel Cork and DCU Mercy is a mouth-watering one if recent meetings are anything to go by.

DCU Mercy currently lead the win ratio this season (2-1) with the all important victory coming in this season's National Cup final.

Their 68-55 win confirmed their first National Cup success with the prospect of a double very much on if they can repeat the feat in this Saturday's clash.

Team Montenotte Hotel Cork did win the side's opening clash in the Regular Season before Mark Ingle's side cancelled out that victory on the final day of the Regular Season.

DCU have plenty of players used to the big occasion with Lindsey Peat, Ann Marie Healy and Sarah Woods all impressing for Ireland in last year's momentous European journey.

The match-up couldn't be more exciting with Montenotte featuring the likes of the experienced trio of Niamh Dwyer, Marie Breen and Claire Rockall.

"It is a bonus that we have reached the cup and now the league final and it bodes well for the future of this club if this is what some of the players have to show after only making the step up this year," said Montenotte head coach Mark Scannell.

"It has been a sensational couple of years for the club and hopefully we can end this one with more silverware."

"We are really looking forward to facing Montenotte," said Mercy head coach Mark Ingle. "They will be gunning for us after we beat them in the National Cup final."

p Ticket Prices are as follows - Adult: €10; OAP/Student: €8; Child: €5.

NB: Please note that one ticket will allow the bearer to watch all four games.

Tickets are available by visiting www.basketballireland.ie from Monday, March 15. Group Discounts available by contacting Basketball Ireland on (01) 4590211.

SCHEDULE

National League Finals

All games to take place at the National Basketball Arena on Saturday, March 27

12:0: Basketball Ireland Women's Division One Final

Oblate Dynamos v Scruffy St Paul's

2:0: Basketball Ireland Men's Division One Final

Titans v Team Garvey's St Mary's

4:0: IrishSport.TV Women's SuperLeague Final

Team Montonette Hotel Cork v DCU Mercy

6:0: Nivea For Men's Superleague Final

Killester v UL Eagle

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