Scottish Basketball cup holders Edinburgh Kool Kats go up against the Scottish champions Polonia Phoenix in tonight’s women’s league derby at Portobello High School (7.30pm) and, given that Glasgow Rocks top the table with an unbeaten record, it is a game neither side can afford to lose.
Polonia are bottom of the table and still seeking their first win after four defeats: “It’s not been the best of starts,” agreed their British junior and Edinburgh University point guard Hilary Wood, whose student games are over until February.
But Kats must be kicking themselves after dropping a surprise encounter at Arbroath last Sunday, going down 55-53 to Tayside Musketeers, and are second on two defeats.
“We played poorly at both ends of the court,” said coach Ben Gunn, who had only six players available and was missing internationalists Rose Anderson and Lauren Walker.
But he hopes to have both back for tonight.
The senior women’s clash is a taster for Super Saturday at Portobello tomorrow when five national league games will be played by the various teams of the City of Edinburgh club.
The day is being sponsored by La Favorita restaurant, who will sell pizzas with all proceeds going to the home club.
First up are the Under-16 women who meet Phoenix, bidding to repeat their Scottish Cup win over their city rivals (11am).
Provided the weather is all right on the A9, that game will be followed by two against Inverness club Highland Bears, who won both age groups when Kings travelled to the Highland capital for the opening day of the season.
The cadet men tip off at 1pm and the junior men at 3pm followed by the junior women against Polonia at 5pm.
Kings senior men, meanwhile, will wind up the day against Stirling Knights (7pm) and should get back on the winning trail after last week’s defeat to Falkirk Fury.
Lothian sides in last eight
Edinburgh University and West Lothian Wolves are through to the quarter-finals of the Scottish Chairman’s Cup after contrasting wins.
Helped by 23 points from Davy Rowan, including seven three-pointers, and 21 from Estonian Gert Marisalu, the students breezed past Lothian side Boroughmuir Blaze
94-50 and will now face the new Tayside Musketeers senior team who ko’d Perth Phoenix.
Wolves won a topsy-turvy game against Glasgow Eagles 69-56 with Marc Dickson and Jamie Reilly all hitting 14 points and now host Banchory Stags.
Pioneer city ref on site
CITY referee Muriel Gilligan, who was the first British female to qualify as an international official and only the second European, is hoping she will soon be up in lights on the FIBA website alongside the many other male and female floor officials who have succeeded in gaining their FIBA qualifications.
For some reason Gilligan’s name was omitted from the list but now Chris Dodds, Scotland’s current leading ref, has forwarded her details to FIBA HQ for updating.
A noted player with the former Central YMCA (CENTYMCA) side – she represented Scotland 15 times in the Seventies – Gilligan went on to coach the successful Polonia MIM women’s side.