Basketball preview: Boroughmuir Blaze primed for Saints clash

Simon Turner
Simon Turner
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Boroughmuir Blaze are once again involved in the game of the weekend in the Scottish Basketball League when they welcome St Mirren Saints to The Crags Centre tonight.

Blaze continued their strong recent form by winning last Friday’s local derby with City of Edinburgh Kings, while the Paisley side blew the title race wide open by handing champions Falkirk Fury their first defeat of the season.

“St Mirren are a really good team and we know what they’re capable of, so we’re weren’t surprised that they beat Falkirk,” said Blaze coach Simon Turner. “We know they’ll be a huge challenge for us on Friday.”

Edinburgh University enjoyed a 37-point win at Glasgow Storm last week and the students will be looking for any signs of Falkirk vulnerability when they host the wounded champions on Saturday evening.

In the women’s league, Polonia Phoenix hope to end their losing run in the Premier Division against Falkirk’s ladies team at Gracemount High. Once again, defending champions City of Edinburgh Kool Kats have no fixture this weekend.

Earlier on Saturday afternoon, the spotlight will be on Oriam, where the Edinburgh-based women’s pro side Caledonia Pride face Oaklands Wolves in their third game of the new WBBL season.

Pride’s sensational opening victory over champions Nottingham Wildcats was followed by a sobering defeat in Leicester last week, but they will be quietly confident of returning to winning ways against the St Albans team after it lost its first two matches, managing only 42 points against both Cardiff and Sevenoaks.

“It’s a game we have to win if we want to stay competitive in the league,” admitted Pride head coach Bart Sengers. “I wasn’t very happy with last week and I don’t think anyone on the team was, so we need to bounce back and play our usual game on Saturday. We’re all ready for it.”

Summer signing Claire Paxton is still out injured, but Sengers revealed that she returned to training on Thursday and will hopefully be playing again “in a few weeks”.