Basketball: Kings must polish up for Porty clash

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Edinburgh KINGS will take a 17-point lead into the second leg of the Scottish Basketball League play-offs at Portobello High School on Friday night after a lacklustre away win over Glasgow Storm at Bellahouston Sports Centre, Glasgow, on Saturday.

Though their 66-49 win was comfortable enough in the end, especially considering how many players Kings were without – Lee Reilly, Ed Rekis and Kevin Will were all missing, in addition to the still suspended Audrius Ciapas – coach Doug Reilly was not impressed, nor is he a fan of the format of the new competition: “Games are far too spread out,” he said.

Simon Flockhart was top scorer with 23 points, Craig Reilly adding 16.

Boroughmuir Blaze certainly made a fight of it in their tie with league runners-up and No. 2 seeds Falkirk Fury before eventually succumbing 96-76 at the Crags Sports Centre on Saturday. They travel to Falkirk for the second leg at the Mariner SC on Friday.

Kings are also through to the finals of both the cadet and junior men’s sections of the play-offs. Kings will play Boroughmuir Blaze in the cadet final in a repeat of the Scottish Cup final derby between the two after Blaze blew away Highland Bears in their semi-final at Grangemouth on Saturday but unbeaten Kings struggled to put away Falkirk Fury 55-53.

Kings juniors, led by a dominant Matt Wilcox with 32 points, made no mistake in their semi, leading 25-9 after the first quarter against Perth Phoenix then withstanding a valiant fightback by the Tayside team, who narrowed the gap to one point at half-time (28-27).

But Kings stepped up again to win 69-58 and will now play surprise finalists Falkirk Fury, who shocked Scottish cup and league champions St Mirren 55-52.

Polonia Phoenix beat Tayside Musketeers 79-42 in the junior women’s semi, much to the delight of coach Luis Romero, who had five players in double figures. Edinburgh Kool Kats were still in with a chance of joining them when only four points down to St Mirren at half-time but wilted to go down 70-41.