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Sunday 17 December 2017

Swords Thunder facing their moment of truth

Dave Baker
Dave Baker

There are still five rounds left in the Basketball Ireland Men's Premier League, and yet it all comes down to this - a title decider.

C&S UCC Demons are unbeaten and Travelodge Swords Thunder have only been beaten by one team - UCC.

The Dubliners' games in hand skews the look of the table, but the reality is that they still control their destiny - beat Demons tomorrow and finish above them on points at the end of the league and they'll win the title in their debut season.

If they finish level on points with Demons, the title will be decided by a one game play-off between the two. So it all pivots on the ALSAA clash at 6pm tomorrow. Travelodge Swords Thunder Head Coach Dave Baker said: "Ever since we lost to Demons in October, our whole focus was to get back to this weekend with the chance to level it up at home. That meant winning every league game since then and we've done that."

Thunder lost by 15 points to Demons in the league in October. They were also beaten by the same opposition in the Men's National Cup semi-final. The margin that day was 25 points but Thunder have 12 other winning performances to draw confidence from and they've been doing some extra homework.

"We need to close the gap. We've looked at the game tapes and we're confident", says Baker.

Killester's title hopes were dashed in Cork last week despite one of the smartest tactical setups against Demons this season.

Next up for Killester is a home game against near neighbours DCU Saints Templeogue know a win away at Neptune this weekend is vital to their chances of a top four finish and a place in the Champion's Trophy.

Neptune have struggled since the departure of Nigel Byam back to the US, however Paul Stapleton has boosted the Cork side's scoring threat of late.

UCD Marian will be poised to capitalise on any Templeogue slip up if they can beat UL Eagles in Belfield. Marian have won the last three meetings between the sides.

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