City of Edinburgh Kings and Edinburgh University completed a memorable basketball double for the Capital after winning the men’s and women’s Scottish Cup Finals at Oriam.
The men’s trophy was always bound for Auld Reekie as Kings took on local rivals Boroughmuir Blaze, and although Saturday night’s final was far closer than Kings’ recent league win, Blaze were always playing catch-up after trailing 37-29 at half-time.
The gap grew to 15 points in the third quarter, although Boroughmuir dug in and closed to within six before Kings accelerated away to win 67-54, claiming their eighth Scottish Cup but their first since 2013.
Their 6ft 10in centre Ali Mackay was voted the game’s Most Valuable Player for contributing 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Calum Nicol – also omitted from Scotland’s Commonwealth Games squad – also chipped in with 15 points. Both were outscored by Blaze skipper Eoghann Dover who led his team to a second successive Cup Final defeat despite posting 16 points.
“We’re absolutely delighted,” said Kings head coach Craig Nicol. “This is a very special team because every player is a product of our youth development system, and we’re incredibly proud of that.
“Boroughmuir put up a great fight and challenged us all the way. It probably wasn’t our best performance this season, but we have so many different weapons and options. Our defence made the difference – Blaze have been putting up 90 points in a lot of games this season, so to hold them to under 60 was very impressive.
“We’ve still got four league games left, and even though the title is probably out of reach, we want to ensure we finish second and give ourselves lots of momentum going into the Play-Offs, where we can hopefully add another trophy.”
Blaze coach Simon Turner added: “It was played in good spirit by two highly-competitive teams, but Kings probably deserved it in the end. Our preparation was much better than the previous week but Kings have progressed really well and are one of the best teams in Scotland at the moment.”
Recent form proved an accurate guide in Sunday afternoon’s women’s final as Edinburgh University crushed Lady Rocks 76-53 to extend their unbeaten run to three months.
In a virtual repeat of the students’ 72-53 league win a fortnight ago, coach Jordan Webb’s team led by 11 points at the end of the first quarter and had stretched their advantage to 24 going into the closing ten minutes. Sian Phillips top-scored with 15 points.
“We can all be proud of them and we are! It was a great job today,” smiled the university’s head of performance, Bart Sengers.
City of Edinburgh completed a Cup Final hat-trick when their Under-16 boys, paced by 32 points from Owen Mackle, beat Tayside Musketeers 78-67 and the Under-18 girls defeated Lady Rocks 62-52 with Pollyanna Storie’s 16 points and 14 rebounds earning her the MVP award.