There will be a double Capital derby climax to the Scottish basketball season this weekend.
Boroughmuir Blaze will play Edinburgh University in the League men’s Play-Offs final at the Pleasance CSE on Saturday (5pm) and Edinburgh University will face Edinburgh Kool Kats in the women’s final at 5pm on Sunday.
In possibly the best game so far Blaze reeled in last year’s champions Falkirk Fury 76-67 in their semi-final at the Crags Sports Centre on Sunday night shortly after EU men had quelled Glasgow Storm 75-61 at the Pleasance to reach their second final of the 2015-16 campaign.
Watching EU coach Danny Costello praised Blaze afterwards: “Blaze showed the never-say-die attitude which has served them well all season.”
Kool Kats had upset second seeds Tayside Musketeers 65-53 away at Grove Academy on Saturday, with Leanne Page scoring 19, Tracey Phillips 17 and Irish cap Christina Newton 16, while champions EU women, playing at 8pm the same evening at their strangest home venue of their bizarre Play-Offs series, Dunfermline Reign’s home court at St Columba’s High, eased past Glasgow Rocks 69-37 in their last outing before facing Sheffield Hallam in the British Universities Championship final at Ponds Forge, Sheffield, tomorrow.
Blaze had to work incredibly hard for their win over Fury who led 37-34 at half-time after a tight 13-12 first quarter in favour of Blaze.
Two Bryan Munnoch three-pointers twice put Fury ten up in the third, but threes from John Browne and Tomas Cicenas and two free throws from Ronan Mullan brought it back to 50-54 at the end of the quarter.
Mullan went on to have a fabulous finish with another ten points in the last ten minutes which Blaze took 26-13.
In the first half it had been Sam Stott who had been hot with 12 points and overall Blaze had five in double figures, Cicenas leading with 15, Eoghann Dover and John Browne adding 13 each.
Ahead 19-17 after the first quarter EU men went ten up in the second but Storm finished the half strongly to be only six down and actually took the lead 44-43 before a surge from EU including two Davy Rowan threes gave the students the edge again. Jac St John top-scored with 17, Rowan and Ronan Mullan’s younger brother Brendan both had 16 and Ron Adrian 13. Colin Haldane replied with 18 for Storm.