US ace Blaylock makes shock Star return
American Delaney Blaylock has given Belfast Star a major lift by declaring himself fit for tonight's big All Ireland Super League clash away to Neptune.
Blaylock has been out for a month and had not been expected back in a Star shirt until next weekend's home National Cup quarter-final with Eanna.
But, Star's head coach Adrian Fulton has revealed that he will be starting for the Belfast men, who will also give a debut to new Swedish ace David Jallow.
"It's great news for us that Delaney is back in the squad. It would have been even better if our other American Ben Marello had not told me that he is suffering with back pain following Thursday night's training," said Fulton.
"So, we're going to have to see how Ben responds to physio. It would be great if we could take both guys down not only for this game but also ahead of the Cup quarter-final.
"The league's rules mean that you can only have one American on the court at any one time so it would be good to see how I would work that.
"It obviously changes things when you have two Americans - and both guys are top quality, so it would be exciting for the fans to see how it would help us."
Star, though, have been hit by an injury to Liam Pettigrew who has been one of their most consistent performers all season.
"It is a blow for us not to have Liam for this game so it will be up to David to step up and give us that defensive intensity," added Fulton.
Star and Neptune are two of four sides who stand at the top of the table on 18 points. For Fulton it is only natural to think back to his glory days with Star when their battles with Neptune were always a highlight of any season.
Fulton added: "The Neptune Stadium is such a special place to play basketball. It holds between two and three thousand and it will be packed.
"With both teams back up at the top of the league it does feel like old times. In my heyday we had some great games down there.
"It was always a place to really inspire you to produce your best and I'm sure it will be the same for my players too.
"To be honest, if you're not up for a game against Neptune in Cork then you're in the wrong sport. It should be a great game and we're going to have to be at our best to win."