'Hopefully we can make a strong start'- Keenan

TEMPLEOGUE Super League Basketball Team Head Coach Mark Keenan is calling on his players to avoid the mistakes of last season and make a strong start to their new campaign this weekend.

The Reds, who won the title for the first time in 2017, had to settle for a third place finish last season and Keenan cites a difficult start as the primary reason behind their loss of the crown to UCD Marian.

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This is something Templeogue can ill-afford to repeat when they kick start their league title quest with a match against Belfast Star in the Oblate Hall on Saturday.

“Hopefully we get off to a better start than we did last year,” said Keenan.

“We won our first game and then lost our next three. It meant that we have to work really hard to catch-up and we did manage to get it back into our own hands, but we couldn’t afford any more slips

“And we did slip up against Killester which pretty much put us out of it, so hopefully this season we can quickly find our feet and make a strong start,” he said.

Set for a tricky opener against a Belfast side that reached the final of Templeogue’s international pre-season tournament earlier this month, the team will be looking to hit the ground running.

“We’re at home and we’re getting to see Star a bit in pre-season tournaments before we start the league,” said Keenan who has made a few changes to his side over the course of the off-season.

Having parted company with Mike Bonaparte and lost the services of Baolach Morrison, the team has signed a new American in Cortlin Davis from Alabama, who has played Division Two College basketball with Flagler University.

Also in for the Reds is former Maree forward Padraig Burke, who is back in action after recovering from some knee trouble.

ON ANOTHER note, Templeogue Basketball Club will be running its annual Mick James Under 15 Men’s Tournament in Presentation College, Terenure this weekend.

In addition to the hosts, there will be teams from Liffey Celtics, Malahide BC, Limerick Celtics, Ongar Chasers and BIPPs North East taking part.

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