Edinburgh Kings enjoy morale boost for Cup final

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City of Edinburgh Kings landed a hefty psychological blow ahead of this weekend’s Scottish Basketball Cup Final by trouncing league leaders Boroughmuir Blaze in a derby at The Crags Centre.

Shooting guard Kyle Jimenez celebrated his selection for Scotland’s Commonwealth Games squad, top-scoring with 15 points as Kings sent Blaze a stark Cup Final warning by racing away to a 47-27 half-time lead.

The visitors eventually triumphed 90-62, but their ten-game winning streak was finally ended in Paisley on Sunday when St Mirren blitzed them 91-71. Saints had previously pipped champions Falkirk Fury by a single point in Grangemouth, leaving St Mirren and Boroughmuir locked together at the top of the table with Kings and Fury both just two points behind and Dunfermline Reign also involved in a five-way title race.

Edinburgh University moved up to seventh by bouncing back from a heavy loss in Paisley to defeat Glasgow Storm 75-66.

The women’s league trophy looks increasingly likely to remain in the hands of City of Edinburgh Kool Kats after the defending champions survived a treacherous Sunday journey to St Andrews University, where they won 78-38 for their 11th victory in 12 games. They are now five points clear of nearest challengers Lady Rocks.

Meanwhile, in the Women’s British League, head coach Bart Sengers rued a missed opportunity after Caledonia Pride were narrowly beaten in their last outing before this weekend’s WBBL Cup Final in Birmingham.

Despite a spirited late fightback, Pride lost 63-62 to old rivals Team Northumbria at Edinburgh’s Oriam Centre as the visitors took revenge for last month’s Cup semi-final defeat.

Pride trailed 56-42 going into the final ten minutes but cut the deficit to a single point with just 1.4 seconds remaining. Summer signing Rosie Reynolds missed one last chance to complete a fairytale comeback as Northumbria desperately clung on.

Sengers then turned his attention to Sunday’s Cup Final against Nottingham Wildcats, and the Dutchman warned: “It will have to be better next week. We should have won this game.”