Stith set to be Marian threat
UCD Marian and DCU Mercy signalled their intentions ahead of the upcoming National League season with pre-season tournament victories last weekend.
Reigning cup champions UCD Marian outlined their ambitions with a 10-point victory over a highly fancied UL Eagles in the final of the Stuart Robbins Memorial Tournament at the University of Limerick.
Their victory was achieved in no small part thanks to their recent recruit from the USA, Donnie Stith, who was named the final's Most Valuable Player.
The 6'8" Stith should provide Marian with a great low post presence for the season. Donnie played NCAA D1 for Tulane University and has spent the last two years playing in Austria and Malaysia.
Eight teams took part in the competition with six featuring from the Nivea For Men's SuperLeague. The other two teams comprised of the Stuart Robbins All Stars and a USA Select touring team.
DCU Mercy claimed the Women's SuperLeague Pre-season Tournament following a 50-35 win over old foes Team Montenotte Hotel at the National Basketball Arena.
Sarah Woods and Lindsey Peat provided the ammunition for Mercy with 17 and 15 points respectively, while the returning Niamh Dwyer top scored for Montenotte with 17 points.
The 2011-12 Basketball Ireland's National Cup competition takes centre stage this weekend with the U18 Men and Women's qualifying games.
The 2010-11 season saw Templeogue lift the Under-18 Men's crown, while AOS Security Glanmire secured the women's equivalent.
This season's contest launches with 45 teams competing over eight venues across Ireland.
Tomorrow will decide the top two teams from each of the four pools that will advance to the quarter-finals (December 2, 3 and 4 later this year).