| 5.9°C Belfast

Star must keep on winning and forget appeal, warns Fulton

 

Close

Belfast Star could find themselves top of the All Ireland Superleague with two games remaining next weekend if the appeal against the lenient ban imposed on Tralee Warriors for playing an ineligible player is upheld.

Belfast Star could find themselves top of the All Ireland Superleague with two games remaining next weekend if the appeal against the lenient ban imposed on Tralee Warriors for playing an ineligible player is upheld.

�INPHO/Oisin Keniry

Belfast Star could find themselves top of the All Ireland Superleague with two games remaining next weekend if the appeal against the lenient ban imposed on Tralee Warriors for playing an ineligible player is upheld.

Belfast Star could find themselves top of the All Ireland Superleague with two games remaining next weekend if the appeal against the lenient ban imposed on Tralee Warriors for playing an ineligible player is upheld.

The Warriors, who top the Superleague table by three points, were found to have incorrectly registered American Andre Berry for three games, including a defeat at the hands of Star just before Christmas.

Basketball Ireland's Men's National Competitions Committee (MNCC) ruled that the six points won by Tralee along with a fine of €390 be imposed on the defending champions. But an appeal by Tralee saw the points deduction dropped by an independent appeals committee.

Consequently, the MNCC confirmed they would appeal that decision and that will be heard on Tuesday with a decision made before the penultimate Superleague weekend of games.

Should the six points be imposed once again, that would leave Star as the front runners for a Superleague title for the first time in 20 years.

As coach Adrian Fulton prepares for tonight's away trip to Dublin Lions he has made it clear to his players that any thoughts about what the appeal would do to their title hopes would be irrelevant if they cannot win their remaining matches.

A shock overtime defeat to Moycullen last month meant destiny was out of their hands and Fulton is determined that the same mistakes will not be repeated against the lowly Lions.

"We know the appeal is coming up but I've made it clear to the lads that if we don't win against the Lions then it doesn't matter what happens," he said.

"We have to take care of business and I believe they have learned from that loss to Moycullen. They also know that the Lions then beat Moycullen the following week so there is no time for complacency.

"In that Moycullen game we started very badly and gave up 25 points in the first quarter and then just 11 in the second quarter," he added.

"That is all about application and that first quarter came back to bite us so in this game against the Lions we have to impose ourselves from the first buzzer.

"We have to show this team why we're at the top of the league.

"We have to start in top gear and take control and we have the players to do that. We can't be thinking about the appeal, that will look after itself."

Belfast Telegraph