Basketball: East v West clash to top bill at New Year festival

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City of Edinburgh Basketball club are planning to bring in the New Year in style with a “Festival of Basketball” at Edinburgh University’s Centre for Sport and Exercise at the Pleasance on Saturday, January 5.

Top of the bill will be the Edinburgh Kings v Glasgow Rocks BBL Trophy match at 5pm and also on the programme will be games for both under-16 boys (cadet) and girls (cadette) teams plus a mini tournament for under-12s and under-14s.

There is plenty of pre-Christmas action with another ‘All-Saints Day’ at Portobello High School tomorrow with City of Edinburgh facing six games against various St Mirren Saints teams, and the Scottish Cup semi-finals at Portobello a week tomorrow featuring Kings v Falkirk Fury and Kool Kats v St Mirren.

There is another Kats v Saints clash at Portobello tonight (8pm) in the Scottish Junior Women’s League where Kats and Saints share an identical record, having played six, won five and lost one. Whoever wins tonight will be favourites to take the title, though St Mirren were probably already that by virtue of their free-scoring record – they defeated Glasgow Rocks 104-66 last weekend while Kats grabbed a 60-58 away win at Arbroath.

The senior clash between Kats and Saints is a dress rehearsal for their Scottish Cup semi-final seven days later and, given the Paisley side’s dramatic improvement in recent weeks – they beat Polonia and then held Rocks to four points in an 82-86 tussle last weekend – Saints are no longer the soft touch they appeared after Kats’ 66-41 opening away win over them.

Lauren Walker missed Kats’ senior win over Tayside but returns to strengthen an already deep squad in which Leanne Paige (née Stupart) looks more and more like the player who was a regular in Scottish national sides.