EDINBURGH KINGS face an uphill battle to retain their Scottish Basketball League title after going down to a shock 95-72 defeat to close challengers Falkirk Fury.
Edinburgh Kool Kats brightened the gloom at the city club by beating the Scottish women’s champions Glasgow Rocks 51-38 at Portobello, a result which keeps them firmly in the title race.
The Mariner Centre at Camelon was filled to the brim for the clash of the two unbeaten men’s sides. The game was marred by a serious leg injury to Fury’s big centre Roni Gordon, who was taken to hospital with cruciate ligament damage after going down in an accidental collision in the first quarter.
Later in the same quarter Kings’ Ed Rekis tweaked a hamstring muscle on a fast break and took no further part in the game.
“They deserved to win – Roni’s injury seemed to act as a catalyst for them, while losing Ed hurt us,” said Kings coach Doug Reilly, who lamented their poor defence.
“Turn-overs killed us,” he said. “We’d a poor game – you can’t give up 95 points and expect to win. We need to pick ourselves up and get ready for Troon on Saturday.”
Kings were 12 down in the second quarter then got it back to lead by one before letting Fury go on a 17-0 run.
Simon Flockhart top-scored for Kings with 21 points and took 15 rebounds but he also spilled turn-overs.
Scott Russell led the Fury with 22 points, while Rocks guard Jonny Bunyan had 21 points, older brother Keith 14 and Walter Lubeigt 14.
Boroughmuir Blaze were also in the wars and were down to five players with Davy Rowan having to go to hospital with a split chin, but they emerged 68-62 away winners over Stirling Knights. Tomas Cicenas led with 21, Ben Warrington and John Brown had 12 each and player-coach Chopper Pettett ten.
Junior Hannah Peacock had her finest game yet as a senior in Kats’ win over the Rocks with 15 points, while Tracey Phillips may have scored only six points but had an amazing day with her rebounds and steals, while Sarah O’Brien added 13 points. The win keeps Kats in contention, with Polonia Phoenix also in the hunt after pounding Tayside Musketeers 76-33 at Arbroath.