New-look Moycullen to open new home season

SSE Airtricity Moycullen, having enjoyed a winning start to the rebranded Basketball Ireland SuperLeague, will host their first home game on Saturday in the Kingfisher (7pm ).

After a strong opening win over KUBS by 89-73, Moycullen will be looking to repeat their solid play against visitors DCU Saints this weekend.

Moycullen boasts a new look this season with John Cunningham having taken over as head coach, and new American player Philip Lawrence-Ricks.

Lawrence-Ricks, a four year scholarship athlete from NCAA division one school Marist College of the MAAC, impressed on his debut at the weekend, scoring a team-high 24.

Veterans Dylan Cunningham, James Loughnane and Paul Freeman have returned, along side Patrick Lyons, while Kyle Cunningham and Joseph Tummon were back from Irish U20 international action over the summer, ensuring real quality and depth in the squad. Although Sean Candon continues recovering from illness, he should be back with the team soon, and the conveyor belt of youngsters continues. Rory Heffernan, Joshua Marvesley and Conor Egan have joined the squad from the U20s, along with last year's beaten U18 Cup finalists John Hackett, Ladmy Sila and Connor Curran.

Last weekend both teams traded baskets in a quick start in the first quarter, but Lawrence-Ricks did not take long to adjust to the Irish style of play, carrying the offensive load along with Dylan Cunningham. By the end of the quarter, both teams were neck and neck with Moycullen leading 23-19.

KUBS' big men proved a headache for Moycullen’s defence as they demonstrated impressive inside scoring and took the lead. However, two back-to-back three pointers from James Loughnane helped Moycullen close the gap and gain some momentum. First year player Conor Curran did not shy away from his defensive assignment, hounding KUBS' American, but they trailed the Dubliners by 39-41 by half time.

Moycullen, however, found their groove in the second half with valuable offensive input from Kyle Cunningham, who connected with Joseph Tummon for some easy baskets. Paul Freeman and Lawrence-Ricks dominated the glass, allowing for some quick transition scores and second chance points. Patrick Lyons found himself at the line on numerous occasions, scoring four consecutive free throws to help Moycullen build a comfortable lead going into the final quarter.

Moycullen’s solid play carried over into the fourth quarter, with another debutant John Hackett impressing on his introduction. Solid defence and good execution allowed them to maintain their lead and sail to the final buzzer with the score 89-73.

Moycullen:Phillip Lawrence-Ricks (24 ), Dylan Cunningham (20 ), James Loughnane (9 ), Joseph Tummon (9 ), Paul Freeman (9 ), Kyle Cunningham (7 ), Patrick Lyons (7 ), Conor Curran (4 ), John Hackett (1 ).

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