shootin' hoops

All focus turns to Cork as basketball Cup semi-finals play off this weekend

We preview what’s to be played for across the board.

IF YOU’RE TRYING to find anyone with an interest in Irish basketball this weekend, there’s only one place to look for them.

2016/17 Basketball Ireland Season Launch There's plenty of action to keep an eye on. Morgan Treacy / INPHO Morgan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

All attention turns to Cork as the Hula Hoops National Cup semi-finals get underway, starting this evening.

Neptune Stadium and Parochial Hall play host to a three-day festival of basketball, throwing up some tasty fixtures in doing so.

It all kicks off tonight with a much-anticipated Women’s Super League derby clash, as current champions Ambassador UCC Glanmire and Singleton Supervalu Brunell take to the court in the first semi-final (Friday, 8.30pm).

The two sides are meeting on rather different terms, as Glanmire seek their historic fourth cup title in-a-row, while Brunell are relishing their first semi-final at this level in 25 years — a classic tale of up-and-coming underdogs battling against heavy favourites.

In the other women’s semi-final, DCU Mercy face up to Courtyard Liffey  in a repeat of a league fixture DCU won before the Christmas break (Saturday, 6pm).

The Men’s National Cup matches bring further top-class entertainment, with SSE Airtricity Moycullen paired with Griffith Swords Thunder (Saturday, 4pm) and Pyrobel Killester vying with UCD Marian for a coveted final spot (Saturday, 8pm).

Moycullen are featuring in their first-ever Men’s National Cup semi-final, but they’ll undoubtedly face up to the competition ahead of them in the form of a strong Griffith Swords Thunder contingent.

Meanwhile, Pyrobel Killester will be hoping for better look in this year’s semi-final as Templeogue edged past them in the dying minutes of last year’s decider. UCD got the better of them the last time the sides met in the league, and will be hoping to repeat the feat tomorrow.

The senior men and women’s semi-finals are the four headline attractions, but the finalists of several underage competitions — President’s Cup, U18, U20, NICC — will also be decided throughout the weekend.

The schedule for the weekend is as follows, courtesy of Basketball Ireland.


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