Setanta deal a shot in arm
Basketball Ireland's recent agreement with Setanta Sports is a major new development for the sport in Ireland.
The National Governing Body for the sport confirmed earlier in the week that it had agreed a three-year deal with broadcasters Setanta Sports to provide live coverage of the 2012 National Cup Finals.
On top of the finals coverage, Setanta will also be featuring a regular basketball magazine show as well as the possibility of live coverage of the National League Finals in March. The news is a massive boost for the sport particularly in the light of RTé's decision to cut coverage of this season's National Cup finals due to budgetary constraints.
A change this season will see the Men's and Women's SuperLeague National Cup finals move to Friday, February 3rd, while the previous weekend will see the Under-18, Under-20 and Senior Cup games taking place.
The Men's SuperLeague National Cup finals will feature the meeting of UCC Demons and UL Eagles, while a big night for Limerick will also see the UL women's team involved against cup holders DCU Mercy in the women's final.
The recent National Cup semi- finals, which were hosted by Neptune and Brunell, proved a massive success with a sold-out crowd for the eagerly awaited all-Cork clash between Bord Gáis Neptune and UCC Demons.
Other highlights included UL Eagles' dramatic semi-final win over 11890 Killester, while DCU Mercy will fly the capital flag in the women's final after their impressive display against Killester in the last four. A strong Limerick crowd is expected to make the trip to Dublin after their women maintained their unbeaten run to reach the final.
2012 National Cup Finals
Friday, January 27
All Games at the National Basketball Arena
Basketball Ireland Senior Men's National Cup Final
Dublin Thunder v UCD Marian, 8.0.
Saturday, January 27
Basketball Ireland U-18 Women's National Cup Final
Singleton's SuperValu Brunell v Tralee Imperials, 12.0.
Basketball Ireland U-18 Men's National Cup Final
Templeogue v Maree, 2.0.
Basketball Ireland U-20 Women's National Cup Final
Tralee Imperials v DCU Mercy, 4.0.
Basketball Ireland U-20 Men's National Cup Final
Maree v Killester, 6.0.
Basketball Ireland Senior Women's National Cup Final
Tralee Imperials v Scruffys St Pauls, 8.0.
Friday, February 3
B'ball Ireland Women's SuperLeague Nat'l Cup Final
DCU Mercy v UL, 7.15.
Basketball Ireland Mens SuperLeague Nat'l Cup Final
UL Eagles v UCC Demons, 9.15.