Edinburgh University aim for Scottish Cup semi-finals

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With Edinburgh Kings and Boroughmuir Blaze safely through to basketball’s Scottish Cup semi-finals, Edinburgh University have a great chance of joining them when they face former neighbours Pleasance at Forrester HS tonight (7.45pm).

Pleasance have returned to national competition this season in the men’s second tier following many years playing in the Lothian League and they beat Heriot-Watt University 70-60 and West Lothian Wolves 70-63 on their way to the quarter-finals. However, it would still be a major shock if the Division Two outfit were to prevail over a progressive student team, who lie fifth in Division One.

Edinburgh Kings have a younger team this season, but it was their whirlwind veteran Paddy Campbell who lit up the new Portobello HS games hall in their 67-44 taming of Glasgow Storm by bagging 24 points, 18 of which came in the first half.

With Ali MacKay mopping up the rebounds and scoring 12 points for another “double double” and former Scottish junior captain Niall Mackle showing glimpses of his old form with eight, Kings were in cruise control by half-time.

Blaze were short of five players for the visit of Dunfermline Reign to the Crags SC and that seemed no problem when they led 64-41 midway through the third quarter, but the youthful Fifers then went on a 17-2 run to pull back to 71-62 with four minutes left before Blaze coach Simon Turner called back the cavalry for an 86-74 win.

Polonia Phoenix were unlucky to lose as heavily as the 68-56 scoreline suggests to Glasgow Rocks in their Scottish Women’s League game at Gracemount HS as there was little between the teams in a controversial encounter, even though Polonia coach Toni Szifris insisted that the Rocks deserved to prevail. Polonia’s top scorers were Julie Ritchie with 17 and Lyn Cochrane with 12.

Meanwhile, GB women lost their last chance of qualifying for the finals of Eurobasket when they went down 71-52 to a strong Italian side in Lucca. Azania Stewart led GB with 19 points, Chantelle Handy adding 13.