City of Edinburgh Kings will face Boroughmuir Blaze in the Scottish Basketball Cup final following contrasting semi-final wins at the weekend, while Edinburgh University also ensured Capital involvement in the women’s final.
Nobody can say that Kings have had a lucky draw this year as they beat in-form St Mirren in the quarter-finals before ripping the trophy from defending champions Falkirk Fury’s grasp in an epic semi-final at Grangemouth Sports Complex.
Fury won October’s league fixture by just four points and it was even tighter this time as Falkirk narrowly failed to overturn a deficit of 22 points in a frantic closing quarter. Calum Nicol’s 13 points saw Kings scrape through 64-63 and they are now just one win away from their first Cup victory since 2013.
Standing in their way are last year’s runners-up Boroughmuir, who enjoyed a far smoother path to the final after beating Pleasance Basketball Club 92-64 at The Crags Centre. A second-quarter blitz made it 63-38 at half-time and there was no way back for Pleasance as Sam Stott (26 points) and skipper Eoghann Dover (23) kept the Blaze scoreboard ticking over.
In the women’s competition, Edinburgh University will take on Lady Rocks in the final following a one-sided semi-final demolition of West Lothian Wolves in Bathgate. Wolves had fortuitously reached the last four without actually playing a match, but the students were not in a charitable mood and outclassed them 94-34. Rocks beat St Mirren in the other semi-final.
Meanwhile, in the Women’s British Basketball League, Americans Rosie Reynolds and Tricia Oakes made telling contributions as Caledonia Pride followed last week’s Cup triumph with another big win on the road.
The Edinburgh pro team posted their third league victory this season by defeating London Lions 74-60 at Barking Abbey Leisure Centre. Reynolds hit 33 points in the Cup quarter-final in Manchester and added 25 on Saturday, while Oakes chipped in with 20. The US duo also claimed 17 rebounds between them as Pride threatened to throw away a 58-43 lead before steadying the ship in the last five minutes.
“We played some of our best defence and offence of the season, and our challenge now is to make that more consistent,” said head coach Bart Sengers. “It was a very important win for us and it sets us up for a good run if we can finish 2017 strongly.”
Pride can now look forward to their first home game in seven weeks when they welcome Manchester Mystics to Edinburgh’s Oriam Centre this Saturday.