New look Saints aim to make their mark despite difficult opener

Tariq Guebaili and Dee Proby of DCU Saints. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

The DCU Saints got their season underway with the toughest of tests, playing host to league champions Templeogue.

Looking to build on last season’s 8th place finish, DCU were facing a side that were dealt just two defeats during the entire course of last year’s league campaign.

After a blistering first quarter, the Saints and Templeogue were neck and neck, however, experience was a major factor as the away side began to establish a lead over the young DCU side after the second quarter.

Saints 19-year-old guard Tariq Guebaili believed the opener was a test of character,

“First touch nerves was definitely a big thing for us,” he said.

“It was obvious we were not able to adapt to the Templeogue offence through the tough stretch in the second and third quarter.”

The highlight of the game was undoubtedly Templeogue’s Lorcan Murphy’s massive dunk which came close to breaking the backboard.

The Irish international dropped 30 points as the visitors saw off the Saints 76-96.

The youthful college side hit the road for their first trip of the season against Galway’s Moycullen.

The aftertaste of such a difficult start to the season resulted in an inspired performance in the West. American Dee Proby led the scoring with 38 points as DCU came home to Dublin with a 78-85 win.

After questions over fatigue or experience in the latter half of the first game, Guebaili believed DCU’s reaction in Galway was down to the strong characters in the dressing room.

“[This] team, [we] are all leaders and everybody took responsibility [for the Templeogue loss]”, he reflected.

There is a lot of excitement to see just how far the Saints can go this season with such a young team.

The confidence that echoes throughout the team is the cornerstone of belief that the new look Saints can go as far as they want this year.

“We feel, although we are young, we are right up there with the other great teams in the league.” asserted Guebaili.

Next up for the Saints in the Superleague is a trip to Dublin side Eanna Basketball.

Christy Dunne

Image Credit: Andre Corvin/Sportsfile