28 March 2024

~4 minutes read

Maree Among Men’s Super League Basketball Final Four

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Maree Among Men’s Super League Basketball Final Four

It’s final four weekend in the InsureMyVan.ie Super League, following a pulsating weekend of basketball at the quarter-final stage. Killester and Maree will have home advantage against UCC Demons and Griffith College Éanna respectively.

Killester put in an early contender for performance of the weekend by ousting the defending champions Irish Guide Dogs Ballincollig@MTU on their home floor, but they were arguably surpassed by UCC Demons when they took down Belfast Star in overtime on Sunday afternoon to set up a trip to North Dublin.

The only previous meeting between the sides this season was a 92-73 win for Killester on the road in December. That result was before UCC Demons managed to sign Elijah Tillman, though. Tillman has since proved instrumental to their InsureMyHouse.ie Pat Duffy Cup success and also came up big with a 30-point, 17 rebound double-double against Belfast Star.  He continues to prove a tough matchup for anybody in the country and that’ll be no different against Killester.

Killester can also point to the introduction of a new signing since that encounter in the form of Troy Simons. Simons came in at the end of January to compliment Kason Harrell and he has been extremely effective in taking some of the scoring burden on his shoulders. He also allows more space on the floor for shooters like Paul Dick and Gregorio Adon to make their mark on defences.

The majority of teams will struggle to match their quickness when playing without a traditional big man, but between Seventh Woods, David Lehane, James Beckom, James Hannigan and Kyle Hosford, it’ll be intriguing to see who gets which assignment on Saturday night.

Waiting in the final will be either Maree BC or Griffith College Éanna following a repeat of the InsureMyHouse.ie Pat Duffy Cup final of a year ago. The Galway side came out on top on that occasion, but a semblance of revenge was taken by the Dubliners when they defeated Maree 79-62 in Rathfarnham just three weeks ago.

Tip-off at Calasanctius College, Oranmore on Saturday is 7pm and we’ll have full online coverage on our website galwaybayfm.ie.

“When we were up in Dublin, we couldn’t hit water if we fell out of a boat,” said Maree BC head coach Charlie Crowley. “They’ve got firepower in every department and makes them extremely tough to play against. We’ve got a lot of work to do to elevate to that level, but we’ve been written off against Éanna before and I imagine our supporters will look forward to giving them a good Galway welcome.”

“We’re obviously happy to be in the semi-finals. We had to be at our best against Sligo and it’ll require that performance and even more if we want to even have a chance against Éanna.”

Maree boast a strong home record having not lost in the Kingfisher since opening day against Ulster University, though Griffith College Éanna are adept at grinding out road wins, Darren McGovern’s charges are 7-1 away from Coláiste Éanna this campaign.

“Our recent win over Maree counts for nothing now,” said Éanna head coach Darren McGovern.  “Both teams are where they expect to be at this stage of the season. They have brought in some great talent and it’ll be another gigantic test for us. We’ve stuck together through a tough season, really developing into a side that can deliver in big games. It’s about consistency now. We need to stick to the plan and play for each other.”

Both squads have variety in their scoring, with four or five players capable of hitting double digits if given enough looks. The battle between James Gormley and Zvonomir Cutuk beneath the rim figures to be an important factor in this one, as the volume of second chance points will be crucial.

You can watch both games live on basketballireland.tv.

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