'We’ve clawed our way back' - Keenan

TEMPLEOGUE have ended 2018 and begun the new year strongly to take the outright lead in the race for the Men’s Super League Basketball crown.

Chasing their second title in three seasons, Mark Keenan’s side have recovered strongly from a significant wobble at the midway point in the first half of this latest campaign.

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Mark Keenan

Indeed, the Reds have won all of their last four league ties, the most recent win away to Belfast Star seeing them go three points clear of their northern rivals at the top of the table.

It has been a very encouraging surge by the side who looked to be in trouble following defeats at the hands of UCC Demons, DCU Saints and Garvey’s Tralee Warriors earlier in the season.

“We’re delighted,” said Keenan. “We had that big win against Belfast and probably should have won it a little more comfortably than we did (81-83)

“We had a ten-point lead twice in the match and they nearly got it back, but thankfully we got the win.

“After those two losses (against UCC and DCU) and then against Tralee earlier in the season, we’ve clawed our way back, but, look, it’s going to be tough.

“All the top sides still have to play each other and anybody can beat anybody. We’ve got Maree at home in our next match on Saturday week and they pulled off a big win over Star last month so we certainly won’t be taking anything for granted.”

Asked about his side’s turnaround, Keenan explained, “Everybody has been just so determine to bounce back from those defeats.

“Now there’s a real positive vibe in the team and the players are like, we’re going to do this together.”

On another note Keenan, who is also Head Coach of the Ireland Senior Men’s team, last week announced the appointment of his backroom team who will be in place alongside him until the culmination of the 2020 FIBA European Championship For Small Countries.

He will be supported by two assistant coaches Adrian Fulton, currently head coach of Men’s Super League team, Belfast Star, and Templeogue assistant coach/player, Lawrence (Puff) Summers.

The Team Manager for the squad will be Mike Hickey, who is currently head coach of Men’s Division One side, LIT.

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