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Cork basketball in turmoil as neptune withdraw

Thursday, 30th July, 2015 1:00am

Cork basketball has been thrown in to turmoil as it has been announced that Neptune is to pull out of the Superleague.

The Blackpool based club released a statement this week, confirming its departure from the championship. The statement also confirmed that coach Roy Downey had departed the club for rivals UCC Demons, which appears to have been a factor in the clubs withdrawal from the Superleague.

The statement read: "Neptune Basketball Club had entered this year's Premier League campaign and had committed to the association and the other teams. A lot of work had taken place behind the scenes by the club executive to allow this happen. However with all the off the court work done things changed for the worst this week when Roy Downey decided his future was with Blue Demons BC. This forced the club executive to revisit the decision to enter the Premier League. "When all things were considered, including the loss of Michael McGuinn and Jermaine Camara last year, Mati Rudak and Jordan Blount to the USA and finally despite assurances from Roy Downey that he would commit to Neptune he has decided to transfer to Blue Demons."It continued: "When the executive of Neptune BC considered the situation, it was decided to withdraw from the Premier League and play in the National League Division 1 for the coming season. Neptune BC has a long history of competing at the highest level nationally and will continue to work hard with our talented underage players with the aim of regaining our status as a formidable club side competing on the biggest stage of Irish basketball."The statement was released by Paul Barrett, the Chairman of Neptune Basketball Club.

The Neptune and UCC Demons derbies are some of the most anticipated matches in any sport on Leeside. Neptune is ranked highest in the roll of honour for Superleague titles won and they won the Irish National Cup in 2013. After receiving official notice of Neptune's decision, the Men's National Competitions Committee (MNCC) released a statement saying: "The MNCC acknowledge the outstanding contribution that Neptune BC has made to Irish basketball over the years. We will be supportive of them as they rebuild toward re-entering our top flight in the future.  We are currently considering all available options regarding the vacancy in the Men's Premier League. An announcement will be made in due course."

Neptune finished in seventh in this year's Superleague, which has 10 competing teams. UCC Demons won the Superleague, having gone the entire season unbeaten.

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