Team Left Bank Kilkenny tip-off their second year in the men’s Division 1 National Basketball League on Saturday (7.30pm) in O’Loughlin Gaels, Kilkenny. Team LB enjoyed mixed fortunes last year against the same opposition, winning in Cork and losing at home after a poor performance in front of the biggest crowd of the season.
The team is determined to secure the first three points of the season.
The standard of the teams across the league has improved with a number of clubs attracting top American and European players. This will make things even harder, but after putting in some impressive performances in pre-season there is a level of confidence about the squad.
Team LB are again in the Southern Conference with Blue Demons (Cork), Fr Matthews (Cork), St Mary’s (Castleisland), Maree (Galway) and Titans (Galway). St Mary’s won the Conference winners last year. Titans were narrowly beaten in the play-off final.
The Kilkenny squad is similar to last season, however, there is a huge loss of Enda Roberts and Dean Kavanagh. Their loss will be great, but that offers an opportunity to players who took a back seat last season to drive on.
There is a squad of 16 players who are all battling for five positions on the court, and 12 on the panel. In addition, American Puff Summers who plays in the Superleague for Killester has been training with the group. He resides in Kilkenny and he brings a wealth of experience and a competitive edge to the sessions, which can only improve the players.
Last year Team LB had one of the best groups of supporters in the league. Their supporters out-numbered the oppositions at many away games away, which was a great boost to the players. The hope is that the South East will continue to support the club.
A special welcome is reserved for those who are not involved with basketball but who have an interest in sport.
Team LB’s fixtures 2012 - September 2 v Blue Demons, O’Loughlin Gaels 7.30pm; October 6, v Dublin Thunder, Kilbarrack 8pm; October 7, v Fr Matthews, Kilkenny 3.30pm; October 14, v Fr Matthews, O’Loughlin Gaels 3pm; October 27, v Ulster Elks, O’Loughlin Gaels 7.30pm; October 28, v Titans, Oranmore 5pm; November 3, v Maree, Renmore 5pm; November 17, v Ballon, O’Loughlin Gaels 7.30pm; November 24, v Templeogue, Oblate 7pm; December 1, v Mary’s, O’Loughlin Gaels 7.30pm; December 15, v Donegal Town, O’Loughlin Geals 7.30pm.