Boroughmuir Blaze coach is wary of promoted Pleasance

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Boroughmuir Blaze beat Pleasance Basketball Club in a pre-season friendly, but Blaze coach Simon Turner knows that result will have no bearing on tonight’s Scottish League Championship opener at The Crags Centre.

“It’s pretty irrelevant,” admitted Turner. “It’s just great to be playing another Edinburgh-based team. We’re two of the oldest basketball clubs in the city and we’ve had a friendly rivalry for decades. Pleasance are newly-promoted, so it’s great to renew that rivalry at the top level.”

Having claimed the league title in 2016, Boroughmuir were deposed last season by Falkirk Fury and also lost in Cup final, but Turner is reluctant to make any rash predictions going for the campaign ahead.

“Our target each year is to grow and improve,” he said. “It’s very early now to be talking about winning titles or anything like that.

“We’ve had lots of injuries and disruptions this summer, but we’re slowly piecing the squad together. Captain Eoghann Dover is still here and we have two former players who have returned to the club in Davie Rowan and Ben Warrington, so we’re really looking forward to the new season.”

Pleasance BC’s last visit to The Crags in April saw Scotland’s oldest club complete one of the finest seasons in its 70-year history when they beat Dunfermline in the Lothian Cup final. They had already won the Lothian league and gained promotion to Scotland’s top flight as Division Two champions.

Beyond tonight’s opening fixture, City of Edinburgh play Dunfermline Reign at Portobello High School tomorrow evening and Edinburgh University host Stirling Knights on Sunday afternoon.

Pleasance coach Scott Sanford added: “The last two years have been very, very successful for us, but we know this season is a whole new challenge. Hopefully we can compete with teams like Blaze.

“We’ve had a very good prep after starting pre-season training sooner than most clubs. We lost only two players from last year and we’ve signed some new players too. We’re probably looking the strongest we’ve ever been as a club and a team.”