Sandy’s Slam Dunk: East’s tilt at sixth cup success boosted by Marshall’s return

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With their season probably on the line, Edinburgh Kool Kats coach Graham Gunn is looking for much tougher defence from his team when they line up for the second time in a week against Glasgow Rocks at St Maurice’s High, Cumbernauld on Sunday (12.20pm).

Beaten 72-60 in the Scottish Cup final at the Pleasance last Sunday, Kats know they will have to lift their game considerably if they are to turn that around on their opponents’ court and save their Scottish League title.

“We’ve got to be tougher all round but in particular we need to be smarter ‘in the paint’ to deal with Rona Corkindale,” said Gunn.

Victory would leave Rocks two wins clear of Kats and two-nil up in the head-to-heads. “We’ve got two games to come against Rocks and two against Polonia and we probably need to win all four,” said Gunn, who has kept faith with his cup 12.

“Same team but I hope different players,” he remarked.

Though there is still the commendable end-of-season play-offs to come, these have still not attained the status where victory in them would atone for losing their cup and league crowns.

Coach Gunn meanwhile has another hoops date tomorrow when he takes the second Scottish Universities trial at Portobello HS (3-5pm).

High noon for our teams

All the local senior men’s Scottish League action is around midday tomorrow with Boroughmuir Blaze at home to falling Stirling Knights at the Crags SC (12.20pm) and Dunfermline Reign facing Glasgow University at Queen Anne High (12.30pm).

“Knights beat us easily in the first fixture on their court and we see this as a significant test of our improvement,” said Blaze coach Simon Turner.

Edinburgh Kings face their bogey team Glasgow Storm at Portobello High at 11.15am, the City club’s only home game of the weekend.

In his St Mirren playing days Storm coach Iain Maclean would have put the wind up many a Kings team but, though he has wrought a big improvement in the Scotstoun-based side, he is pessimistic about their prospects tomorrow: “We’re missing one or two players,” he explained.

Kings juniors are away to Glasgow Rens as are the unbeaten Cadet men, who took the Scottish Cup last Saturday.

Blaze juniors face a daunting away trip to unbeaten St Mirren but their cadets should fare better there at the early start of 10.45am.

Phoenix aim to fly high

Polonia Phoenix, on three defeats, are at home to St Mirren at Wester Hailes on Sunday (3pm) and should win to stay in touch with the top two.

The Phoenix cadettes, still on a high from their last-gasp Scottish Cup win over the Rocks, entertain the Saints before the senior game at 1pm. They will still be without their injured national under-16 team point guard Hilary Wood.

Phoenix juniors have a chance to avenge their Cup defeat at the hands of the Paisley club at WHEC tomorrow (1pm).