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Basketball : National Cup Finals Fail To Disappoint

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Friday night saw one of the greatest if not the greatest Womens Cup final of all time as UL Huskies were defeated in overtime by Team Montenotte Hotel Cork. A sold out crowd at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght saw defending champions UL defeated as Irish coach James Weldon squared off against another Irish coach in Paul Kelleher. UL were chasing their third straight National Cup but it wasn’t to be although the girls from Limerick have to be praised for their spirited fight back having looked dead and buried at half time in this one.

The Men’s final was never going to outplay the Women’s fixture as UCC Demons comfortably got the better of shock cup finalists Dublin Inter. Inter , who are made up mainly of Lithuanian players , shot well from behind the three point line but after keeping in touch with their Cork counterparts for much of the first quarter they fell away as the game progressed. The game marked a fantastic achievement from Demons captain Shane Coughlin as he collected his fifth National Cup winners medal. Continue reading

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Irish Basketball Team Secure Victory Over England

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The Irish select side have recorded a second consecutive victory over an English select side in Birmingham. After a shaky start the Irish finally went and took the lead in the fourth quarter, going on to win the game by nine points.

UL Eagles big man Delwan Graham led the way for the Premier League Select team as he racked up 21 points over the course of the match. The British roared into a 10 point advantage when leading 24-14 at the end of the first quarter. Whilst the Irish, led by Head Coach Mark Keenan, managed to improve in the second quarter they still trailed by 6 as they headed into the break knowing that a big second half performance was required. Continue reading

Basketball : Irish Premier League Select Squad Announced

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The 12 players that will represent the Men’s Irish Premier League in Birmingham, England on January 12th have been announced.  Head Coach Mark Keenan revealed the squad yesterday in the Irish Daily Star following trials that have taken place over the past few weeks. Mark Keenan is set to be assisted by Jerome Westbrooks and Mike Hickey from Killester and UL Eagles respectively.

The twelve players listed below are set to take on the best in British Basketball in just over a weeks time. Coach Keenan has selected just four members of the squad that beat the English last year when they also played before the British Cup final, a result which was a major upset. Continue reading

Men’s National Cup Semi Final Draw Throws Up Intriguing Ties

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The draw for the Men’s National Cup Draw was made over the weekend on RTE Radio 1’s show “The Saturday Sports Show”. The draw spit out two fascinating match ups as UCC Demons are set to take on Killester while Bord Gais Neptune will square off against Dublin Inter. Continue reading

Basketball Ireland Announce Two New Competitions

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This past week Basketball Ireland have been hard at work announcing two brand new competitions for the season. The first is a shield competition for the U18 National Cup. This is open to any team that entered the U18 National Cup but failed to make the quarter final stage. This in my opinion is a great idea from Basketball Ireland and should encourage some smaller basketball clubs to enter the National Cup next season although one does have to wonder why they suddenly decided to announce this tournament mid way through the U18 season. Continue reading

Spanish Basketball Coach Set For Irish Coaching Clinic

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Basketball Ireland revealed some good news during the week when it was revealed that Spanish Assistant Coach Jaume Ponsarnau, is coming to Ireland on December the 15th to host a coaching clinic in Galway. Ponsarnau has just returned from the European Championships with the Spanish National Men’s team in Slovenia.

Ponsarnau won Catalan coach of the year in 2007 and 2012 during his time as Head Coach of Basquet Manresa in the Spanish First Division, a position he held from 2006 until earlier this year. Having coached players such as Ricky Rubio and  Marc Gasol, Coach Ponsarnau will be hoping to pass on some of his knowledge to the coaches and players that are present next Sunday. Continue reading

Irish Basketball Weekly Round Up

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There was a big coup for Basketball Ireland during the week as they managed to secure live radio coverage for the draw for the semi finals of the National Cup. The draw is set to take place on RTE Radio 1 at 3pm on Saturday, 14th of December. The Saturday Sports Show attracts thousands of listeners every Saturday and is sure to add to the excitement of what is Basketball’s major competition.

A producer on the programme Robbie Irwin had this to say upon the announcement. “We are delighted to enhance the promotion of the National Cup by including the live draw in our programme. RTE Radio has covered the various stages of the competition for many years and this is a natural extension to that coverage.” Continue reading