Templeogue set to face their Demons

By Stephen Leonard

Templeogue Basketball Mike Bonaparte resizedTEMPLEOGUE Men’s Premier League Basketball team could not have asked for a tougher start to the new competitive year as they play host to a C&S UCC Demons side that swept all before them last season in the Oblate Hall on Saturday evening.

While the team has been bolstered by a number of new signings, Templeogue coach Mark Keenan has had to contend with a number of untimely injuries in their pre-season preparation.

One of the beneficiaries of the break-up of Dublin Inter, Templeogue has secured the services of Point Guard Mazvydas Cepliauskas and big centre Aurimas Statkus.

Yet the latter is likely to be kept out for a while with knee trouble and Cepliauskas is currently nursing an Achilles tendon injury.

Also struggling to start this weekend is Jason Killeen and Lorcan Murphy.

On a more positive note, Keenan has secured the services of the experienced Paul Cummins and American Michael Bonaparte (pictured).

The latter played, last year with Neptune but is well acquainted with Keenan’s style having played for him for two seasons when they were both at Killester.

“He [Bonaparte] was with me at Killester for two seasons when we won the league and cup so he has good pedigree” insisted Keenan.

“Cummins is an ex-Irish international and a great addition to the team” he added.

What’s more the team has young point guard/ shooting guard Sean Flood back after he spent last season in Germany.

Keenan, who led Templeogue to third place in the Premier and the final of the Champions Trophy, knows his boys have a tough start on Saturday, but still relishes the challenge of taking on last season’s treble winners.

“We’re expecting a great crowd and a great atmosphere. We’re really looking forward to it” he told The Echo.

“Everybody has expectations within the club coming from last year and we’ll want to keep the standard high.

“If we can maintain that standard and consolidate our position in that top group, that will be good” he insisted.

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