Old rivals Edinburgh Kings and Falkirk Fury are locked together again with five wins apiece at the top of the Scottish Basketball League, Fury enjoying a slight edge in points difference.
Both have reasonably tough games this weekend with Kings at home to Glasgow University at Portobello High School tomorrow (3pm) and Fury hosting St Mirren at the Mariner Centre, Falkirk tonight (8pm).
Former Kings junior Calum Nicol is back as the students captain as is Lithuanian point guard “Ug” Zasimauskas, who scored 22 points, including five three-pointers, against Loughborough. That tally was matched by Canadian rookie Al Kalilovic.
Kalilovic, a driving guard-forward who hails from Nova Scotia, Canada, though his family roots are in Croatia, could be the main threat to Kings tomorrow.
Kings were back to virtual full strength for their trip to Glasgow where they easily accounted for winless Storm 85-52.
Though the students will give them a better game, it would be a major upset if the champions were to succumb on their home court.
St Mirren have had some poor results recently and despite having all their key players back have still to reproduce the form they showed in winning the Scottish Cup last season.
Glasgow University too have had problems, mainly in integrating new players, and stuttered badly against Loughborough University in the British Universities Northern Premier Division at Kelvin Hall last week, though winning their Scottish League game against Stirling Knights reasonably comfortably 83-71.
Improving Blaze meanwhile should take care of Storm at the Crags centre tomorrow (2.20pm).
• Edinburgh University men, relegated from the Northern Premier Division last season, have had a frustrating season so far in the Scottish Universities league, managing just one game – an away win over Dundee.
Due to go to St Andrews on Wednesday this week, they were told the game was off because of a shortage of referees - but at least one Fife-based national league referee was available and had not been approached.
“We don’t want to claim the game by default – we want to play games,” said club captain Ben Warrington, who at least is keeping his competitive edge by also playing with Boroughmuir Blaze, as is Davy Rowan, who scored 18 in Blaze’s win over Troon last Saturday.
Edinburgh, like all the Scottish teams, have a new challenge, battling for a place in the British Universities “Big Wednesday”, at Leeds Metropolitan on March 20, when the finals of 14 sports will be decided.
But first, should they reach the quarter-finals of the BUCS knock-out competition, they must go to the popular Final 8s, where the quarters and semis will be decided over one weekend still to be confirmed.
• Edinburgh Uni women may have a better chance of BUCS honours than their male counterparts, though they were also relegated from the North Premier level.
Though Edinburgh Kool Kats Hannah Peacock and Sarah O’Brien were advised to rest as they have two club games this week, the Capital students still demolished nearest challengers Dundee 92-39 at the Pleasance led by 25 points from Polonia’s Beth Mackie, who bagged 14 in a hot first quarter.
Kool Kats head for Linwood tonight to play St Mirren, while Pentland Star have another tough assignment on Sunday when they entertain champions Glasgow Rocks at Broughton High (12.30pm). Top-of-the-table Polonia (four out of four) play Falkirk Fury at the Crags (3.20pm).