BELFAST Star will aim to put last week's opening defeat to UCD Marian at La Salle Sports Hall behind them when the defending Super League champions travel to face Killester BC in Clontarf on Saturday (7.45pm).
Adrian Fulton's charges couldn't have got off to a worse possible start, even before tip-off last Sunday, when Aidan Quinn dislocated his knee in the warm-up and the Belfast side would go onto suffer an 83-74 defeat.
Star have not enjoyed the best record at Killester and will be further handicapped with a trio of other injuries that will make their task even more difficult, but Fulton has challenged his players to improve upon their opening defeat in order to get their campaign off and running against a Killester side also aiming for their first win following a 94-88 overtime defeat at the hands of DBS Éanna last week.
“Paul Dick remains unavailable, as do Liam Pettigrew and Adam Ryan, all through injury," Fulton reports.
"So to be going to Killester, where we don't have a good record, is as tough a challenge as we could face this weekend.
"We will certainly have to keep improving if we are going to get some wins under our belt. The players are continuing to work hard, both individually and collectively, to try and get back up to speed after a challenging pre-season.”
Fulton is still awaiting confirmation on the severity of Quinn's injury and says the picture will only become clearer following an MRI scan.
He said he has real sympathy for his player who had been in good form prior to last weekend and is hopeful he can make a speedy recovery.
“Aidan has an MRI scan on Friday," he confirmed.
"We will know better after the results of that. He had played so well through the national team workouts and was unfortunate to miss out.
"He is both frustrated and extremely disappointed with the injury, but he is both young and resilient, so we know he can deal with this setback.”
Also on Saturday, Ulster University's men will be bidding to make it back-to-back opening victories in Division One when they face Grand Hotel Malahide (7pm) after their 79-63 home win against Abbey Seals Dublin Lions last weekend.
Ulster University's women are also aiming for two wins from two following a 70-58 home win against Griffith College Templeogue last week when they travel to face Swords Thunder on Saturday (5.30pm) in their Division One fixture.