They clinched the trophy with a 72-50 away win over close challengers Glasgow University at the Stevenson Building and cannot now be caught even if they lose their last two games as they have the head-to-head advantage on several rivals.
Former GB star and club founder Bill McInnes, who played in the 1978 team and several before, said: “It’s fantastic. A lot of people who have played for the club in the intervening years will look at the result with affection. I’m delighted for Simon Turner, who’s put a lot of time and effort into it.
“It was a great moment to witness. I’m delighted for the players – we really lifted our team defence in the fourth quarter,” said coach Turner, whose team led the students 22-8 after a hot first quarter, lost the second 15-14 and the third 20-17, but stormed away to take the final ten minutes 19-6. Lithuanian Tomas Cicenas led the Blaze scoring with 17 points, John Browne adding 16, Sam Stott 15 and Matt Kruczynski 10.
Scottish cap Browne had one of his best games of the season and was delighted with the result. He said: “I’m ecstatic. The game was pretty tough as GU were in our faces the whole time, but that made it all the sweeter.”
Team captain and point guard Eoghann Dover, who scored nine, added: “It feels great. We’ve worked hard for the last three years and the team were brilliant – John, Sam and Matt really carried us through.”
Former Kings junior Calum Nicol had a “double double” for GU with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Edinburgh University continued their late charge for a top-four finish with a 64-51 away win over Glasgow Storm at Scotstoun while St Mirren beat Falkirk Fury 93-68. Edinburgh Kings’ 82-70 away win over Dunfermline Reign keeps the Fifers in the drop zone while bottom side Tayside Musketeers surprised second bottom Ayrshire Tornadoes 92-62 at Dalry.
Edinburgh Kool Kats had a 72-69 home win over Glasgow Rocks at Portobello which should ensure a women’s top-four spot in the play-offs.