Boroughmuir Blaze suffer double blow in play-offs

Laurie Costello, right (library pic)
Laurie Costello, right (library pic)
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Boroughmuir Blaze suffered a double heartache in the Scottish League Play-Offs at the weekend with their senior and junior men’s teams defeated.

Blaze juniors, the Scottish Cup winners, lost 56-55 at Grangemouth Sports Complex yesterday to the team they beat comfortably in that final in Paisley six weeks ago, Perth Phoenix, who will now meet league champions Falkirk Fury in the final.

And, despite a late revival by Blaze seniors, they never really looked like recovering from a dreadful start at the Crags Sports Centre yesterday, losing 83-63 to a Glasgow University team with whom they had tied 73-73 in the first leg the previous day in Glasgow. This was the second year in a row that a play-off game between the two had produced a tied match which is only possible in basketball in a two-leg game.

Glasgow had graduate point guard Steve Archer, the former Worcester BBL player, joining Canadian John Bustin, another graduate, in the back court and the visitors had a much more purposeful look than in recent encounters as they raced to a 15-8 first-quarter lead which stretched to 33-20 at half-time.

Glasgow were 60-30 up midway through the third quarter before former Scotland starter Laurie Costello came off the bench to spark a mini-revival for Blaze with nine straight points. Gradually the gap came down without ever reaching single figures though it might have crept closer had not Tomas Cicenas fouled out.

Costello finished as Blaze top scorer with 23 points including three three-pointers, while Eoghann Dover had 11 and Cicenas and John Browne both eight. Bustin had 23, Al Alilovic 22, Calum Nicol 17 and Archer 12 for Glasgow who now meet unbeaten champions Falkirk Fury in the semi-finals.

Edinburgh Kings progressed to the last four at the expense of Troon Tornadoes, with a 65-49 away win at Belmont Academy which made yesterday’s home game at Portobello a formality. Kings won 71-60 with the bench getting an extended run.

Gareth Lodge shot 21 points, Simon Flockhart 16 and Matt Kruczynski adding ten to the 18 he bagged in the first leg. Kings now play St Mirren in the semi-finals at the Pleasance with the first leg a week on Friday and the second on the Sunday.

Edinburgh Kool Kats are through to the final of the Scottish Junior Women’s Play-Offs after beating Tayside Musketeers 50-40 and will play Glasgow Rocks.