Capital basketball clubs hope their hard work pays off in play-offs

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Capital success is guaranteed in an all-Edinburgh women’s final at this weekend’s Scottish Basketball play-offs at Oriam, but City of Edinburgh Kings face a daunting task in Saturday’s men’s final against league winners St Mirren, who are unbeaten since early December.

Saints were 91-71 winners in Paisley when the teams last met in January, although that remains Kings’ only loss in 18 games and they had previously won there in the Cup quarter-finals in October. Kings went on to lift that trophy, beating Boroughmuir Blaze in the final. The only other meeting this season saw Kings defeat St Mirren by ten points at Portobello High in September.

The Edinburgh side were missing six players as they scraped past Falkirk Fury in last Friday’s semis, and the continuing absence due to suspension of Commonwealth Games pick Kyle Jimenez could tilt a 50-50 final St Mirren’s way.

Kool Kats were runaway champions in the women’s league, beating Sunday’s opponents Edinburgh University early-season en route to retaining their title. The students then hit a rich vein of form and have not lost on court since the end of October (they forfeited their final league fixture at St Andrews). During that time, they lifted the Scottish Cup and also defeated Kool Kats by four points in February on the day Kats clinched the league title.

City of Edinburgh are involved in three other finals this weekend. Their Under-18 girls, unbeaten all season, can complete a league, cup and play-off treble if they overcome Boroughmuir Blaze, while the Under-16 boys meet league champions Stirling Knights and the Under-14 girls play Perth Phoenix.