Basketball: Kings pay price for sins in defence against Saints

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Coach Doug Reilly has blamed poor defence for Edinburgh Kings’ shock first defeat of the Scottish Basketball League season away to St Mirren, a result which opens up the title race not just for St Mirren but also for Falkirk Fury.

Saints won 71-65 at the Lagoon Centre and all three teams are now on one defeat.

“Our defensive intensity was not at the same level as for previous games,” said Reilly, who admitted that Kings, who were ten points up in the first half, badly missed Latvian Edgars Rekis who was unavailable due to a family commitment.

“They played well and we didn’t when it mattered – they were clearly up for it.”

He added: “We missed some easy baskets early on which kept them in it and they started the second half with a 7-0 run but too many players were out of sorts at the end of the game when it really mattered – it was a much-needed wake-up call.”

Though he tired towards the end of a 37-minute stint, Simon Flockhart led the Kings with 16 points and nine rebounds, Lithuanian Audrius Ciapas being close behind with 13 points, nine rebounds and three blocks in 36 minutes on court.

Lee Reilly added 12 points, nine rebounds and seven assists and Mike Kirkpatrick ten points.

Nic Collins was outstanding for Saints with 20 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks.

Kimgs juniors also bowed to the Saints 73-53 but the cadets saved the day with a comfortable 58-30 win and Edinburgh Kool Kats senior women scored an emphatic 61-42 away win over St Mirren at Linwood yesterday, helped by 13 points from Sarah O’Brien and 12 from Emma Findlay.

That win and their midweek 56-53 cliff-hanger with Polonia Phoenix kept the champions’ unbeaten record while Polonia completed a treble over Falkirk Fury at Wester Hailes, the seniors winning 58-38, the juniors 73-32 and the cadettes 53-40. Without six players, Boroughmuir Blaze still managed a 71-47 away win over Glasgow Rocks, taking the second half 38-19. Davy Rowan led with 16, Ben Warrington added 15, debutant Tomas Cicenas 11 and “Chopper” Pettett ten.

Coach Simon Turner also praised another rookie, 6ft 11in Mickey Mackay, who was promoted from the Blaze Lothian League team.

Despite 24 points each from Ronan Mullan and Malc Winning, Blaze juniors lost 96-75 away to Glasgow Rens but the cadets won 69-42.