A BLISTERING 31 points by Lithuanian forward Tomas Cicenas set the pace for champions Boroughmuir Blaze as they opened their defence of the Scottish Men’s Basketball League title with an 87-59 win over Tayside Musketeers at the Crags Sports Centre.
Cicenas, a key part also of the pressing defence of coach Simon Turner’s still young Blaze team, as well as a hot shot, will be severely missed when he moves to work in Canada at the end of the year.
Eoghann Dover with 13 and John Browne and new Spanish guard Luke Suarez-Pumierga both with 10, were also on target as Blaze moved from 20-11 after the first quarter to lead 44-29 at half-time against a spirited Muskies team who had former coach John Grant back at the helm.
A third quarter of 18-8 put the issue beyond doubt though visiting coach Grant warned: “We’ll be better organised for the return fixture.”
Tayside had Greg Nalepa with 15, Jeb Spink with 14 and another Lithuanian Mantas Martinkus with nine.
Blaze women narrowly failed to make it a double over Muskies going down 66-58 after leading by 12 in the first quarter and still being four up at half-time.
Edinburgh University men opened their campaign with last season’s captain and point guard Davy Rowan back in the line-up, though his campaign may only last a month before he leaves to go travelling.
His influence was vital in their 75-74 home win over Dunfermline Reign, though it was Brendan Mullan who hit the crucial winning basket in a 22-point tally.
Also making a big impact, especially in the first half, was Rodger Watt, who scored 19 in all.
Michael Travers scored 17 including five three-pointers for Reign, his twin brother Andrew adding 11.