Newly-promoted Sligo next up for Maigh Cuilinn this weekend

Maigh Cuilinn welcome recently promoted Sligo All Stars to the University of Galway Sports Arena this weekend for a rare 7pm Saturday evening tip off in the Basketball Ireland Men’s Superleague.

Coming off the back of a win in their last home outing in December 2023, Maigh Cuilinn will take on a Sligo All Stars team that sits just one win ahead of them in the overall league standings with the confidence to take what would be a huge win.

To succeed, Maigh Cuilinn will need to find some way of slowing down the versatile American forward John Williams Jr who poured in 31 points just last weekend in a losing effort against title challengers Eanna in Dublin.

In Sligo’s most recent win (a home game against St Vincent’s ) Williams had 26 points with the dangerous Jamie Joseph Hayes scoring 22 points to do the bulk of the damage for the men from the Yeats county.

Maigh Cuilinn will be hopeful they shook off the Christmas rustiness in Cork last weekend in what was in truth a dismal display that resulted in a loss to UCC Demons. It unfortunately snapped a two game winning streak for Maigh Cuilinn as they try to put some distance between them and the relegation zone.

“Having so few games in December really came back to haunt us,” said Maigh Cuilinn head coach John Cunningham.

“We were never at the level of sharpness required to break down Demons and we will simply have to be better to have a chance against Sligo.

“They (Sligo ) have so much size the only way to handle them is to be quick and tough so that will mean a full team effort and firing on all cylinders.”

Maigh Cuilinn were anything but firing on all cylinders last week when they fell 79 to 58 to UCC Demons in Cork despite a season high 18 points from Josiah Laracey.

The two sides had met only one month earlier in Galway where Maigh Cuilinn pulled away to a well deserved win in front of their home crowd. It was a different tale Leeside however and Maigh Cuilinn never really threatened after a devastating 11 to zero run by Demons in the second quarter blew the game wide open.

That run gave Demons a ten point lead (22 to 12 ) and a double digit margin remained between the sides substantially unthreatened until the final buzzer.

The game will be one Maigh Cuilinn will ultimately hope to chalk down to shaking off Christmas rust and they will want a sharper performance in front of the home faithful this Saturday.

All will be hoping for a large attendance with the receipt from the door all being donated to the Hope4Liam charity in aid of Galwegian Liam Davoren, aged 20, who was involved in a life altering accident in October of 2023.


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