With two of their regular starting five players missing, Lee Reilly on holiday and Edgars Rekis on a delayed honeymoon, champions Edinburgh Kings could be thankful that Simon Flockhart had delayed his honeymoon for a week when they met Boroughmuir Blaze in their opening fixture of the Scottish basketball league season at the Crags Sports Centre on Saturday.
Flockhart, whose new bride Kim was coaching Falkirk Fury junior women against Edinburgh Kool Kats at Portobello, stepped up with 28 points and a stack of rebounds to ease the pressure after the hosts, 15 down at half-time, closed the gap to just three points with 30 seconds left. But in the end Kings prevailed 75-68 with Craig Reilly adding 13 and Paddy Campbell 12.
The old heads of former Kings Laurie Costello and Kevin Anderson, allied to the athleticism of Tomas Cicenas, led the fightback after new Blaze centre Rob Jansson, Flockhart’s one-time Kings clubmate, fouled out. Cicenas scored 22 points, Costello, whose injured hand appears much better, 20 and Anderson 11.
At Portobello, Kats won the junior game easily 69-21 but had to work for their 73-62 win over Fury seniors. New signing Irish cap Shauna O’Connor top-scored wth 15 while Lauren Walker and Hannah Peacock both had ten.
“It was a good start considering we were short of three players,” said coach Ben Gunn.
Raquel Sanz Vicente, with eight points, was top scorer for Pentland Star in their league debut at Linwood where St Mirren won 63-42.