Boroughmuir Blaze beat hosts Edinburgh University 76-71 to clinch a Scottish Basketball League and Championship Play-Off men’s double at the Pleasance CSE.
The match MVP award deservedly went to Blaze Lithuanian forward Tomas Cicenas, who top-scored with 22 points and hauled down 14 rebounds for an impressive “double double” despite the shackles EU tried and at times succeeded in putting on him – and which may have contributed to his eight turnovers.
Cicenas may also have innocently contributed to a turning point in the game when he collided with EU starting point guard and captain Davy Rowan.
Rowan was helped off with an ankle injury at the end of the third quarter and took no further part.
But he bore no malice after returning from an x-ray: “I may have done some ligament damage but the good thing is it’s not broken,” he said.
“We fought really well especially at the start of the second half though neither team played their best basketball overall.
“I thought our guys rallied really well after I went off; we gave them a good game, better than the previous games between us this season.”
Blaze, who led 19-15 after the first quarter and 34-29 at half-time, shot 37 per cent from field goals including six from 19 three-point attempts and shaded the rebounds 49-47, while EU were 34 per cent, six out of 24 threes and made 18 turnovers to their rivals’ 19.
In addition to Cicenas, skipper Eoghann Dover played the entire 40 minutes, scored 17 points, took nine rebounds, had four assists and three steals while Sam Stott, with three threes in the first half, totalled 12 and Matt Kruczynski ten, including the basket which ended EU coach Danny Costello’s hopes of a winning send-off.
Blaze coach Simon Turner said: “Our respect for EU has grown even further after the way they pushed us – we had to battle for everything and it was an honour to participate in Danny Costello’s last game as their coach.”
EU women cruised to a 78-58 win over Edinburgh Kool Kats to complete their first Grand Slam of Scottish honours with an unbeaten record.
EU’s Dutch coach Bart Sengars give all his bench some minutes and the Americans Sarah Halejian, the slick point guard, and Shannon Novosel, under the basket, caught the eye.
Halejian with 20 points and 11 rebounds, took the MVP award, while captain Erin McDonnell scored 16 points and 14 rebounds, Dori Lansbach 12 points and Beth Mackie ten.
Kats were still in the game well into the second half though never in the lead.
Leanne Page led with 17 points, Christina Newton notched ten points and nine rebounds and Tracey Phillips ten points.
There was consolation for City of Edinburgh, when they took the junior men’s trophy with a convincing 75-47 win over Dunfermline Reign.
Kyle Jiminez took the MVP award for his “double double” of 22 points and 14 rebounds.