Student derby will have big say on destination of title

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Edinburgh University v Glasgow University used to be no more than student basketball rivalry, albeit a sparky one. No more.

Sunday’s men’s clash at the Pleasance, tip-off 1.20pm, could have a profound influence on the destination of this season’s Scottish League title; and the two teams meet again next month in the Scottish Cup semi-finals.

Both teams have lost just once, as have Boroughmuir Blaze, who lead the table but have played more games.

Glasgow have beaten the defending league champions and cup holders Falkirk Fury in successive weeks in the two competitions. But Glasgow have never beaten Edinburgh in a head-to-head in these competitions, even though two years ago they won the end-of-season Play-Offs.

In Danny Costello and Josh Tackie the teams have two of the best coaches in the country. Glasgow play an all-action pressure game, subbing deep from their bench, which certainly surprised Fury. Spaniard Ferran Valle and Scots cap Calum Nicol led their assault last weekend.

But Edinburgh may have an edge in defence and have a well-tried trio in point guard Davy Rowan and forwards Ben Warrington and Jac St John.

St Mirren, on two league defeats and through to the Scottish Cup semis, are certainly not out of the title race but cannot afford a slip-up away to Edinburgh Kings at Portobello HS tonight (8pm) and, after their unlucky cup exit to Saints at the same venue, Kings should be up for revenge.

Edinburgh University women may win the league title at a canter but can claim to be unlucky in the BUCS Northern Premier Division where their latest quest for a first home win ended in an 87-50 home defeat by powerhouse Northumbria.

EU are away to St Mirren in the Scottish League at the Lagoon Centre, Paisley tomorrow (12.50pm) while champions Edinburgh Kool Kats face winless rookies Boroughmuir Blaze at Portobello HS (3pm) and Polonia Phoenix travel to table-toppers Tayside Musketeers on Sunday (3.20pm).