The Hula Hoops National Cup is upon us once more, and eight teams will play for four semi-final places across the country this weekend.
In the Men's Pat Duffy Cup, Garvey's Tralee Warriors will fancy their chances of going all the way this year after knocking-out Templeogue in the last-16. Winner in 2017, the Inchicore club suffered a surprising 103-92 point defeat to the Kerry club back in October.
Welcoming the UCC Demons to Tralee on Sunday afternoon, the Cork side were given a bye in the last-16. On their Super League form, one win separates 4th placed Tralee from 7th placed UCC. Crucially, when the pair met in the league back in early October, the Kerry club recorded an 84-75 win against the Demons in Cork.
UCD Marian will be keen to avenge last year's final defeat, their quarter-final clash against the DCU Saints throwing up an inter-collegiate Dublin derby in the quarter-final.
Griffith College Swords Thunder and Pyrobel Killester will make it a second derby game in the capital when they meet on Sunday afternoon.
Finally, Men's Super League leaders Belfast Star will be hoping they can continue their fine form in the National Cup. Up against Keane's SuperValu Killorglin, Star had the edge over the Kerry club when they met in the league last weekend.
There is plenty of more basketball action going on beyond the realms of the Hula Hoops National Cup this weekend also.
In the Presidents Cup, two unbeaten teams from the Men's Division One will be meeting in Oblate Hall on Sunday afternoon. DBS Éanna and the reigning Presidents Cup winners Tradehouse Central Ballincollig playing it out for a place in the semi-final three.
For Ballincollig, the allure of the cup isn't lost on head coach Kieran O'Sullivan.
"The Cup is very special," O'Sullivan said.
"As holders, we are very keen to give a good account of ourselves. Having two teams unbeaten going head-to-head is very exciting and we are really looking forward to the challenge."
From the point of view of the challengers, Éanna are excited at the prospect of causing an upset. Their head coach Darren McGovern has been eyeing the tie up for some time now.
"This is a match up I think both sides have been looking forward to," McGovern reckoned.
"We are ready and I'm sure they are too. Ballincollig are more than a one man team and we have a plan in place for them that we hope will be enough to come out on top - and they will have their hands full with us too."
Women's basketball will continue with a round of Super League games this weekend. Attention will turn toward the women's Hula Hoops National Cup quarter-finals the following weekend.
Basketball Ireland Fixtures - December 1st/2nd
Saturday 1st December 2018
Hula Hoops Presidents National Cup:
Scotts Lakers St Pauls Killarney v Limerick Celtics, Killarney Sports Centre, 19:00
Sunday 2nd December 2018
Hula Hoops Pat Duffy Men’s National Cup:
Belfast Star v Keane’s Supervalu Killorglin, De La Salle, 14:30
UCD Marian v DCU Saints, UCD, 15:00
Griffith College Swords Thunder v Pyrobel Killester, ALSAA-Dublin, 15:30
Garvey’s Tralee Warriors v UCC Demons, Tralee Sports Complex, 15:30
Basketball Ireland Women’s Super League:
IT Carlow Basketball v Courtyard Liffey Celtics, Barrow Centre-IT Carlow, 12:30
NUIG Mystics v Singleton SuperValu Brunell, NUIG, 13:00
Fr Mathews v Maxol WIT Wildcats, Fr Mathews Arena, 14:00
DCU Mercy v Ambassador UCC Glanmire, DCU Complex, 14:30
Hula Hoops Presidents National Cup:
DBS Eanna v Tradehouse Central Ballincollig, Oblate Hall Inchicore, 15:00
IT Carlow Basketball v LYIT Donegal, Barrow Centre-IT Carlow, 15:30
Bad Bobs Tolka Rovers v Ulster University Elks, Tolka Rovers, 17:00