Capital basketball derby becomes play-off palaver

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A Capital derby which should have been one of the highlights of the first round of the Scottish Basketball League men’s play-offs was the centre of a messy fixtures muddle last night with neither venue nor tip-off time confirmed.

Third-placed Edinburgh University are due to be at home against sixth-placed Edinburgh Kings some time this weekend but may have to forego home advantage and play the tie either at the Crags Sports Centre at 5.20pm tomorrow, which was the time still appearing on the BasketballScotland website last night, or possibly at Holyrood High School at 11.20am tomorrow.

Complicating the issue apparently is the fact that EU did not reserve any court time at the Pleasance CSE for the tie, although EU women are due to play their first-round tie against Polonia Phoenix there tonight, and Edinburgh Kings juniors are down to meet Perth Phoenix in the first round of their play-offs at Grangemouth Sports Complex tomorrow at 5.30pm.

Several of the Kings senior team, who have finished the season strongly, are key members of the junior side who are play-off favourites.

Whatever the outcome, the public will be the losers as a game which could be too close to call will be held in virtual secret.

The Crags, however, will definitely host one of the four senior men’s ties with champions Boroughmuir Blaze at home at 3.20pm to Tayside Musketeers, who inflicted a shock first defeat of the season on them late last year.

Both teams have improved significantly since then but Blaze will be doubly keen to impose their authority.

Blaze women are away to Edinburgh Kool Kats at Portobello High tomorrow (11am), while eighth-placed Polonia face the champions tonight.

Another controversial decision by BasketballScotland has meant St Andrews University women and South Lanarkshire Colliers have been awarded one point each for their last league game which they failed to play this week, neither apparently being at a fault.