Plenty to play for on busy weekend for basketball

Bart Sengers' Pride face a big weekend
Bart Sengers' Pride face a big weekend
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Caledonia Pride face the two most important games of their season so far at Oriam, the new National Performance Centre at Riccarton this weekend when they play Oaklands Wolves on Saturday (2pm) and Barking Abbey Crusaders on Sunday (12.00).

The Capital basketball side will be hoping they can draw the same rousing support there as they enjoyed at their one-off game at the Pleasance last Saturday when they came from behind to defeat Sheffield Hatters 79-78.

Even before news came through of Cardiff Archers’ upset win over Northumbria last Saturday, Pride coach Bart Sengers believed that his team would need to win four of their remaining five games to make the Top Eight play-offs. Now the target may be even tougher but first they must take care of immediate business by beating Oaklands, the one team below them in the table and the one team they have beaten away.

Barking, currently seventh in the ten-team league – Pride are ninth – are certainly beatable by an in-form Pride, who are still without their top forward Hannah Peacock due to an ankle injury.

Adding to an exceptionally busy weekend at Oriam will be the Scottish League Championship Play-Off finals for all age groups, starting with the under-16 men on Saturday between St Mirren and Falkirk Fury at 10am, continuing with the under-18 women’s final, a local derby between Boroughmuir Blaze and Edinburgh Kool Kats at 4pm, the under-18 men between Edinburgh Kings and St Mirren at 6pm and the senior women’s final between Tayside Musketeers and Fury at 8pm.

Following the under-16 women’s final between Glasgow Rocks and St Mirren at 10am on Sunday and the Pride game v Barking, will be the senior men’s final between Blaze and Fury at 4pm.

Already cup and lague winnersm, Fury will be looking to complete the treble and also a double if their senior women win.

But Blaze, who came close to matching their rivals in the Cup, losing 59-54, may feel their time has come.

Scotland’s oldest club Pleasance continue to enjoy a triumphant 70th anniversary season and, following on their win over Edinburgh Lions in the National Division Two Play-Off final, will defend the Lothian Cup in the final against Dunfermline Reign at the Crags SC on Monday at 8.15pm.

The women’s final between Comets and Reign takes place at the same venue on Friday at 8.15pm.