Classy Spaniard Dustin Morerea can help lift Belfast Star
Spanish ace Dustin Morerea enters the fray this weekend for Belfast Star as they seek to bounce back from the humiliating National Cup defeat at the hands of Killester.
While 6ft 7in Morerea is going to give Star more strength and experience on the court, head coach Jose Maria Berracol has been quick to point out that his young players cannot just rely on him to help them compete with the All Ireland Premier League's top teams.
Though, it must be said that the Spaniard – who can only play now because of Basketball Ireland's ridiculous 90-day rule for European players – will bring a new dimension to Star's game and help back up American Frank Otis who has been in good form.
Star coach Berracol said: "Having Dustin is going to help because he has the size and he has played at a good level but it is still going to take more than him to change things.
"The other players have to be more like warriors.
"I want to see the young players stepping up another level and showing the intensity that you must have every time you walk onto the basketball court.
"I have my goal for this season and it is that we are working for the future of the club so next year when somebody comes in they have something to build on."
There have been suggestions that Star have felt more comfortable away from home than in front of their own fans where they feel more pressure but that cuts no ice with Berracol as he prepares his side to face Demons – sponsored by Tayto – on Sunday at MCB (3.30).
"Pressure? Pressure for me is when you have no food to eat, not playing basketball," rapped Berracol.
Meanwhile, Star chairman Bill McCotter says he has been impressed with how the 17-year-old Quinn twins Conor and Aidan have made the step up from schoolboy success with St Malachy's to the top Irish level.
"To jump from schoolboy basketball to this level is a massive jump and they have dealt with it incredibly well," said McCotter.
"Whether they stay here or not next season, this year working with Jose will really stand to them. They are two top prospects."