Boroughmuir Blaze held off a spirited fightback from Glasgow Storm to win 87-63 at the Crags Sports Centre on Saturday to finish fourth in the Scottish Basketball League.
The hosts, helped by Scotland’s 2006 Commonwealth Games starting point guard Laurie Costello, who had just flown in from Australia, led 30-9 after the first quarter.
But Storm, coached by Scottish national team boss Iain Maclean, won the second quarter though Blaze still led 46-29 at half-time with Eoghann Dover, Tomas Cicenas and Yannick Onifade catching the eye.
Glasgow could not get the gap down to single figures and another potential Scotland guard, Kyle Haldane, had to go off with a broken nose in the final quarter.
“We did compete at certain times but some poor decisions once again cost us the game – Laurie provides them with great experience and toughness at the guard spot,” said Maclean.
Despite his travel fatigue, Costello had a run with the national squad at a training session yesterday. Blaze teammates Dover, who scored 19 on Saturday, and John Browne, are also in the squad. Cicenas with 21 led the Blaze scoring, Onifade adding 16, while Haldane had 19 for Storm.
Blaze will now meet Glasgow University, who beat Glasgow Rocks 86-76, to complete their regular fixtures and finish fifth, away at the Stevenson Building on Friday in the first leg of the quarter-finals of the Scottish Play-Offs with the return at the Crags on Sunday (2.20pm).
Third-placed Edinburgh Kings, who had already finished their regular fixtures, will face Troon Tornadoes away in the first leg of the play-offs at Belmont Academy, Ayr, on Saturday (2pm) with the return on Sunday at Portobello HS (3pm).
Helped by 24 points from Findlay Wood, 18 from Kyle Jimenez and 17 from Keiren McAdam, Kings juniors beat Tayside Musketeers 83-57, while Blaze juniors beat Tornadoes 72-42 to reach the semi-finals next weekend.
Polonia Phoenix can still reach the senior women’s last four play-offs if they beat St Mirren at home at Broughton High on Thursday (7pm). If they lose, Tayside Musketeers go through.
Edinburgh University women beat Oxford 56-51 in the second of their Final 8s tournament at the University of East London yesterday. They now face Lancaster in a play-off for the Premier North league at the Pleasance on Wednesday (6pm).