Basketball: Kings confident of running Rocks close once again

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For the second time in two seasons, Edinburgh Kings line up against the Glasgow Rocks – Scotland’s only pro side – when they clash in the BBL Trophy first round at the Edinburgh University Pleasance Sports Centre tomorrow (5pm).

Though they succumbed 
78-60 in last season’s encounter at Portobello High School, Kings, the current Scottish champions and again finalists in the Scottish Cup, for a time looked as if they could match their more illustrious opponents, who this season are joint fifth in the British League.

Certainly the Rocks player-coach Sterling Davis is not taking his opponents lightly and was generous in his assessment of the City of Edinburgh men in the build-up this week.

“Kings are a well-versed team who really have some talented guys who could make an impact in the BBL,” he said.

One of those he probably has in mind is Latvian forward Edgars Rekis, who actually tried out for the Rocks when he came to Scotland first but was not picked up.

Another might be Scotland guard Lee Reilly, who got much the better of close rival Jonny Bunyan when they duelled in the Kings v Falkirk Fury Scottish Cup semi at Portobello last month.

Bunyan also plays for the Rocks under a special dispensation but does not enjoy much court time so comparisons may be difficult tomorrow.

Kings’ near-veteran Scottish centre Simon Flockhart needs little incentive to face up to a challenge like this one, while home coach Doug Reilly is also up for the test, saying: “We’re delighted to have been invited again to play in one of the BBL competitions and are relishing the chance to test ourselves.”

The Capital club are running a full day’s basketball festival with under-16 girls playing at 10am, boys at 11am, Lothian Phoenix playing a wheelchair game at midday, followed by an under-14 tournament at 3pm.