By Enda Walshe
Killarney’s Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s face SETU Waterford Vikings Vikings in round two of the National Basketball League in the Carrickpherish Hall, Waterford this Saturday with a 7.00pm tip-off.
Both sides are coming off an opening defeat with Lakers falling to Limerick Sports Eagles and the Vikings suffering at the hands of Drogheda Wolves.
The Lakers will probably have taken more out of their reverse with a number of positives to be gleaned from that game. Young Jack O’Sullivan showed a real eye for a basket and his 16 points were a real bonus for the squad.
The other Jack, Ferguson, was no sooner off his flight than he was in the gym last weekend so he will have spent this week building up a rapport with his new team-mates. He possesses a very accurate outside shot and, towards the end of last week’s game, that looked to be heating up.
Ronan Collins showed some great drive and will have benefitted no end from the game as he has all the skills in his armoury. His figures are sure to go north as he finds his feet.
David Gleeson, unfortunately, played with a slight injury which curtailed his input and its touch and go whether his involvement will be more substantial this week.
Rui Saravia, captain for the season, battled manfully last weekend against the double decker of Jason Killeen and Ronan Cregan putting in a huge shift and by the looks of it Waterford’s centre Freeman Brou standing at 6’8” will offer a similar challenge.
Top scorer in that Eagles match Esebio Strijdhaftig is a major doubt for the game with an injury picked up during the week. He worked very hard in defence and his 17-point total was a huge reward for his endeavour.
If he fails to make it Senan O’Leary and Jamie O’Sullivan will be eager to step up and both players will have fond memories of last season’s fixture where Jamie had 20 points and Senan struck for 17.
Marko Bencic is expected to return and his presence alongside Eoin O’Carroll will be vital as the squad is still without the GAA tied Mark O’Shea and Paul Clarke.
The Vikings had a tough night in Drogheda with new signing the aforementioned Freeman Brou ploughing a lone furrow hitting 21 points in that Wolves defeat. He will be looking to the Kavanaghs Dale and Jay, Denis Miculescu, Daniel Sheehan and Andy Malone for more input this weekend and in front of their home support they will be keen to banish the ghost of that opening day debacle.
With the Lakers having next weekend off, coach Jarlath Lee will be looking to grab the win on the south east coast and then work on getting his squad fit and ready for the two home games that follow on October 22 and 30.
A win would mean lift off for the season but with what could be an injury hit line up it will be a case of all hands on deck. The game will be live on the Basketball Ireland website.
Killarney Cougars, meanwhile, will have their first national league home game of the season tonight when they face Fr Mathews of Cork in the Pres Gym at 7.00pm.
They will look to Cameron Scales and new signing big Darren Townes from Harlem to provide inspiration to the young panel.
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