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Scots head for African adventure

Scotland's side to tour South Africa has been announced with two of the side's biggest names opting out of the trip. NBA hopeful Robert Archibald has been forced to stay Stateside to complete his trial
with the Sacramento Kings while point guard Laurie Costello will instead
play for Great Britain in the World University Games in Turkey.

However  the plans of coach Toni Szifris have been boosted by the return of captain James Steel and point guard Ross Szifris after six months out through injured while there are first caps for Sheffield Arrows Jamie Davidson and Troon's Tom Pearson.  

The tour includes friendly internationals with Angola, Mozambique and
South Africa, plus a five-team tournament in Johannesburg. The side will
also meet England at Sevenoaks on Friday night as part of their build-up to next March's Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

Szifris has praised rising star Keiron Achara after he turned down the chance to turn out for Great Britain in order to play for Scotland. The 6'9" forward, who is being tipped to eventually make the NBA, rejected the chance to link up with the British team for next month's World University Games.. 

"He was given the option but chose us," Szifris revealed "He's very
loyal to Scotland and he's very clear on what direction he wants to go
in. Even though he's playing in America, he really wants to be a part of
the Commonwealth Games next year."

Australian-raised Davidson earned his call-up after leading the Yorkshire outfit to the EBL title last season and admits the selection is a gamble.

"I only really have a limited knowledge of his game but the reports were
so good that I wanted to bring him in," Szifris said. "He's been
impressive in training so far. He's a very tough cookie and he gives us
a few different options which will come in use."

Scotland squad for South Africa: James Steel (Dunfermline), Keith
Bunyan, Mark Duncan (Falkirk), Kevin Anderson (Edinburgh),  Jamie
Davidson (Sheffield Arrows), Campbell Flockhart, Ross Szifris, Stuart
MacKay (East Lothian), Tom Pearson (Troon), Scott Russell (St Mirren),
Roni Gordon, Josh Tackie, Dan Wardrope (Scottish Rocks)

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