Belfast Telegraph

Neal McCotter is hopeful Star can rise up to top four

By David Kelly

Belfast Star coach Neal McCotter can now sense a growing belief within his side that they can go on a run all the way to the Top Four end of season event.

On the back of five successive defeats, that did not seem possible a couple of weeks ago but since then they have won the first leg of their National Cup quarter-final with Swords, enjoyed success in the league and only lost narrowly to Templeogue in the All Ireland Premier.

Tomorrow afternoon, Star travel to the National Basketball Arena to face DCU Saints who McCotter played for over five seasons.

It is going to be a true test of how far they have come in the past few weeks but both McCotter and American Ricky Taylor have a genuine optimism.

McCotter said: "Our aim at the start of the season was to make the Top Four play-offs and I still believe we can do that.

"Following our defeat of the Eagles in Limerick and then taking Templeogue into overtime and then the win over Swords in the Cup I feel we can get the Top Four spot.

"The Saints always give you a tough game and we have a couple of injury doubts but I have no doubt that we have more than enough to go and get the win, we're all up for it."

Star's hopes of victory in Dublin have been boosted by the cancellation of the club's latest under-20 match as it means the talented Quinns, Conor and Aidan will be fresh for the battle.

American Taylor, who has found his scoring touch, has no doubt Star's young guns are a match for anyone in the league.

"I think we are maturing all the time as a team, these guys have a lot of potential and we really believe in ourselves," said Taylor.

"I am now expected to shoot a lot more than I did in college basketball which I am getting used to and I'm happy to take that responsibility."

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