Scots toil in San Marino without Olympic duo

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On the day that two Scots, 
Kieron Achara (Manresa, Spain) and Robert Archibald (Zaragoza, Spain) were named in the British baskeball team for the London Olympics – taking the total Scottish representation to three, with Rose Anderson already chosen for the British women – Scotland’s men suffered another serious blow in Europe.

Commenting on his selection Stirling High FP Achara said: “Scottish basketball has played a major part in my development and I’m confident others will follow in my footsteps.”

Archibald was Scotland’s first player to compete in the NBA but ironically has never played for a Scottish senior team.

Without him and Achara and the three others chosen for the GB Under-20 team, Jonny 
Bunyan (Falkirk Fury), Lee Reilly (Edinburgh Kings) and Ali Fraser (University of Maine), Scotland have struggled this week against teams from the old Euro C Championship.

They will play off for bottom place against lowly Gibraltar on the final day of the European Championship for Small Countries on Sunday after crashing to a 76-75 defeat at the hands of bogey team Wales in San Marino.

In another desperately tight game Wales took the first quarter 19-16, but Scotland fought back to take the next 23-18 and lead 39-37 at half-time.

Wales were back in the lead 57-56 after the third.

Skipper Gareth Murray came alive too late with 30 points and seven rebounds as the Scots struggled to contain a Welsh team who had also beaten them in Malta two years ago.

With Murray’s Glasgow Rocks’ team-mate Danny Huffor unable to play due to a knee injury he picked up earlier in the week it was again left to St Mirren’s Nic Collins to provide the main support, Collins netting 13 points.

But North Berwick’s Ali Mackay (Davidson College) was unable to repeat his form against San Marino, managing only five points and two 
rebounds.

With San Marino surprising Malta to win 71-69 and top the group Scotland were shunted into bottom place – and with only three teams in the other group they have no cross-over game tomorrow.