Basketball: Blaze face toughest test yet against champions

Boroughmuir BLAZE face their biggest test since returning to the Scottish Senior Men’s League this season when they host the champions and Capital rivals, Edinburgh Kings, at St Thomas of Aquins High School tomorrow (tip-off 2.20pm).

Given the limited capacity at the Chalmers Street venue, fans are advised to get there early, not least because there are two earlier games in a triple-header between the two clubs, with the cadets at 10.20am and the juniors at 12.20pm. The seniors are very much the underdogs, but Blaze cadets, buoyed by their away win over Highland Bears last weekend, and the juniors will be looking to claim overall honours on the day.

A calf injury to Scotland star Kevin Anderson has probably put paid to any hopes Blaze might have had of an upset in the senior game, though they will still have four ex-Kings players in their ranks in Laurie Costello, Lee Pettett, Adam Johnstone and Davy Rowan.

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But the current Kings side, who will have a big height advantage, will be doubly keen to get back on the winning track after their 71-65 reverse at the hands of St Mirren in their last league outing. They will be without Edinburgh University star Mike Kirkpatrick, and possibly German student Kevin Will, but will have Aberdeen University student Niall Mackle back. Unbeaten Edinburgh Kool Kats have an even bigger game on Sunday when they travel to St Maurice’s High, Cumbernauld, to play Glasgow Rocks for the first time this season (12.20pm).

This time the height advantage is with the opposition, who have lost just once to the equally big Polonia Phoenix. “They’re big but if we control our own boards we’ll have a good chance,” said coach Graham Gunn.

Kool Kats juniors play Rocks away tonight (8.20pm) and the cadettes meet after the seniors on Sunday. Polonia, 65-59 away victors over St Mirren last weekend, entertain the Saints at Wester Hailes on Sunday (3pm).

Phoenix cadettes face Saints at WHEC tonight (7.30m), while Phoenix juniors are at a different venue for their home game v Tayside Musketeers on Sunday, the splendid new Stevenson College gym (11am).

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