Kings and students chase basketball play-off spot

Edinburgh Kings battle for the ball against Falkirk Fury at Portobello High school. '''Picture: Alan Rennie

Edinburgh Kings battle for the ball against Falkirk Fury at Portobello High school. '''Picture: Alan Rennie

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The chase is really on between Edinburgh Kings and Edinburgh University for a top-four spot in the Scottish Basketball League play-offs at the end of the season.

With Falkirk Fury still on top, Boroughmuir Blaze retaining second spot despite their game away to Dunfermline Reign being called off as there were no referees available and St Mirren third, Glasgow Storm surprisingly moved up into fourth with a 101-74 home win over Stirling Knights.

Storm are on 20 points but poised below them on 19 are Kings with a game in hand and EU also on 19 with two games in hand.

An under strength Kings produced one of their best displays of the season in going down 60-55 to unbeaten champions Fury at Portobello High on Saturday.

They led 28-25 at half-time, thanks partly to some fine defensive efforts from the likes of young players Mitch Murray, Niall Mackle, Douglas Leslie and Neil Rowan.

Scotland guard Jonny Bunyan surprisingly turned out for Fury despite his BBL Cup final date for the Glasgow Rocks in Birmingham yesterday but managed only two first-half points, though in the end he top-scored with 14.

“Sadly we had the third quarter blues again,” said Kings coach Doug Reilly, whose side let Fury back in front with a 17-10 run before shutting them down again.

Paddy Campbell and Simon Flockhart both had 13 points for Kings while Keith Bunyan and Scott Russell added 12 each for Fury.

Edinburgh University trailed 36-37 away to Tayside Musketeers but then came a complete turnaround. EU won the third quarter 30-10 and ended up 86-61 winners with Ben Warrington scoring 26, Chris Evans 22 and Davy Rowan 16.

“Ben played a real captain’s part,” said coach Danny Costello. John Bustin had 15 for Muskies.

Edinburgh University women beat Polonia Phoenix 62-38 in the only senior women’s game to take place, Katy Brown drawing praise from student coach Bart Sengers for her “double double”, ten points and 13 rebounds while Sheila Dixon scored 18 points.