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Edinburgh Kings coach Danny Costello reckons last minute moves among several of Scotland’s top players could make this year’s National League campaign the most open for years.
With the new domestic campaign tipping off this weekend, a number of clubs are in eleventh hour discussions before finalising their squads with reigning champions Edinburgh waiting anxiously for a decision on the future of Australian-born hot shot Dan Wardrope.
The ex-Sydney Kings star is one of several Scottish caps in the frame to join the BBL’s Rocks along with fellow internationals Ross Campbell and Roni Gordon. And although Costello is lining up a swoop for another mystery man from Down Under, he admits that losing Wardrope would be a big blow.
“We’re lucky that we have Paddy Campbell and Kevin Anderson who can also shoot the ball and they proved in last season’s Cup Final that we have other options. But Dan is a great player and if we can hold onto him, they it would be a big bonus for us.
“The real plus is that we are going to have Laurie Costello for the whole season. Originally he was only going to be with us for the first two months and it would have been hard to replace his control and authority in our back-court.”
Falkirk lwelcome back Scotland skipper Keith Bunyan after a six year absence after the three-point specialist rejected a new deal from the Rocks but the last term’s runners-up have lost hard-nosed Aussie Grant Davey.
Troon will wait on a final decision from Campbell while Glasgow Storm have added Tom Pearson.
Flyers set for take-off
Scottish League new boys Grampian Flyers will get their baptism into the top flight on Saturday night when they take on Falkirk Fury on the opening weekend of the domestic season.
The team, which is based at Gairoch Sports Centre, is the brainchild of ex- Murray International star David Brown who has been working as the basketball development chief for the north-east for the past 12 months.
As well as a bunch of recruits from the old Aberdeen Buccaneers set-up, veteran guard Allan Robertson has been signed up to add some experience to the line-up.
But while Brown is targeting a top six finish, the Flyers coach reckons the biggest benefits will be felt away from the court.
He said: “We’re looking to run four teams by next year at different levels including a cadette side. But now we have the infrastructure in place, we felt a senior side was very important for basketball in the region.
“Grampian hasn’t had a regional team for a long while and it’s such a diverse area that things like transport and the costs involved put up a lot of barriers.
“But we have the finance in place to overcome that now. If people want to play, we can make it work for them.
“It’s also written in our constitution that players can play for the Flyers while continuing to play for their local teams. So it gives the region a pyramid structure that it didn’t have before.
“I think we should be able to compete at senior level. Last year we lost by only 20 in the Cup to Edinburgh Kings which is no disgrace. And we’ve a stronger team now than then and we’re aiming to do well in our first year and move on from there.”
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