Basketball: Play-offs in disarray after Knights pull out

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STIRLING KNIGHTS have withdrawn from basketball’s new end-of-season Scottish National League Play-Offs competition leaving a gap in the draw and St Mirren without a game tonight.

Stirling were due to host Saints at the Peak Sports Centre with the return planned for Linwood a week on Sunday but Saints will now play the Scottish Universities in a challenge game on the latter date instead.

Knights coach Pete Duncan said: “Due to family commitments and holidays the Knights could not field a strong team on either of the scheduled dates. It’s very disappointing as we didn’t want to miss the play-offs but we also didn’t want to play with half a team.”

The other three quarter- final ties go ahead tomorrow with seventh placed Boroughmuir Blaze hosting the Scottish Cup holders and league runners-up Falkirk Fury at the Crags Sports Centre at noon, eighth placed Glasgow Storm moving their home venue to Bellahouston Sports Centre to play Scottish League winners and top seeds Edinburgh Kings (1.30pm) and fifth placed Glasgow University at home to fourth placed Troon Tornadoes at the Stevenson Building (3.35pm).

Meanwhile, Grangemouth Sports Centre is once again the controversial neutral venue tomorrow for the junior and cadet play-offs which, unlike the seniors, are decided on one game only.

Not everyone at last weekend’s quarter-finals was impressed with the smaller of the two halls at the Central Region venue which was once a regular spot for schools and age groups tournaments and internationals.

League and cup winners Edinburgh Kings are chasing a treble in the cadet (under-16) section and face an early start against Falkirk Fury (10am) while Boroughmuir Blaze, who finished third in the league, will be looking to upset runners-up Highland Bears in the noon game.

On the adjacent court, Polonia Phoenix play Glasgow Rocks for a place in the final of the cadette women’s competition.

Phoenix juniors have to wait till 4pm to play Tayside Musketeers in the junior women’s semi-final while Edinburgh Kool Kats will need to raise their game to trouble St Mirren in the other semi (2pm).

Kings play surprise package Perth Phoenix in the first of the junior men’s semis at 2pm with Fury facing Cup and League winners St Mirren at 4pm.

Perth pipped Tayside rivals Musketeers in an overtime thriller last Saturday while Kings disposed of Glasgow Rens.