Troon Tornadoes aim to build on the feel-good factor in Ayrshire sport by making their mark on the senior men's Scottish League play-offs which open this weekend. In the wake of Kilmarnock's shock football win over Celtic in the final of the Scottish Communities League Cup, Troon travel to face Glasgow University in the first leg of the Final 8's. The Ayrshire side will be without Johnny Petit, injured in a local league match, and head coach Tom Campbell expects it to be a close affair. 'We finished fourth in the league and they were just one place below us in fifth,' he outlines. 'We beat them at our place and they beat us when they had home advantage so I expect it to be close over two legs. They have been playing well offensively but we have done well defensively so it will be interesting.' Troon almost pulled off an upset win over Clark Eriksson Fury in the league earlier this month which shows what they are capable of. 'Our problem this season is that our tallest player is just 6'5' so when we play against teams who have big guys in them, then we can find it difficult,' continues Campbell, 'For us to make an impact in the play-offs then we need to really bring our top game.' St Mirren Reid Kerr College have been given a 'bye' through the opening round of play-off fixtures with their scheduled opponents Stirling Knights unable to fulfil the fixture. 'I would prefer to have had a couple of matches going into the Final 4's, rather than going in cold,' reasons head coach Stuart Glass. 'If matches go to form, then we'd expect to face Clark Eriksson Fury and that should be a tight match. 'We lost to them twice in the league but beat them in the Scottish Cup final so there's not much between the teams. 'I think the league has been tighter throughout this season - certainly at the top and in the middle of the table - and there have been a lot of competitive games. That can only be good for the game and I expect the play-offs to be close.'
Grangemouth Sports Centre will host the semi-finals of the U18 play-offs - the Final 4's - at both Under-18 and Under-16 level. St Mirren have teams in three of the four but miss out on the last four of the men's Under-16 competition after losing 73-39 to Boroughmuir Blaze last weekend. Boroughmuir face Highland Bears, second in the Under-16 league this season, and the other tie is between City of Edinburgh Kings and Clark Eriksson Fury. St Mirren are favourites for the girls' Under-16 event having won their league and they take on Clark Eriksson Fury in their semi-final. In the women's Under-18 play-offs, St Mirren face City of Edinburgh Kool Kats and, in the men's age-group, the Paisley club meet Clark Eriksson Fury.
Scottish National League Play-offs: Senior Men: Final 8's First Leg: Fri Sat Mar 24: Glasgow University v Troon Tornadoes; Glasgow Storm v City of Edinburgh Kings; Boroughmuir Blaze v Clark Eriksson Fury; Senior Women: Elimination Round: Second Leg: Sun Mar 25: St Mirren Reid Kerr College v Clark Eriksson Fury. Scottish Junior National League Play-offs: Final 4's: Sat Mar 24 (Grangemouth SC): Men: Under-18: St Mirren Reid Kerr College v Clark Eriksson Fury, City of Edinburgh Kings v Perth Phoenix; Under-16: City of Edinburgh Kings v Clark Eriksson Fury, Boroughmuir Blaze v Highland Bears; Women: Under-18: St Mirren Reid Kerr College v City of Edinburgh Kool Kats; Tayside Musketeers v Polonia Phoenix; Under-16: St Mirren Reid Kerr College v Clark Eriksson Fury, Glasgow Rocks v Polonia Phoenix
Fury storm out of Mariner and on to Playoff Finals - 3 days ago
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We headed to the Mariner Centre for one last time on Friday night for a Playoff Semi-Final between Sony Centre Fury and Glasgow Storm. With a Finals spot up for grabs, there was plenty at stake for both teams. Storm showed some nerves in the first quarter, getting off to a really slow start. Falkirk were able to capitalise on this with Keith Bunyan (191-G-77) lighting up behind the arc. Fury worked the ball well as a team and made Glasgow Storm work for extended periods on the defensive e... [read more]
We headed to the Mariner Centre for one last time on Friday night for a Playoff Semi-Final between Sony Centre Fury and Glasgow Storm. With a Finals spot up for grabs, there was plenty at stake for both teams. Storm showed some nerves in the first quarter, getting off to a really slow start. Falkirk were able to capitalise on this with Keith Bunyan (191-G-77) lighting up behind the arc. Fury worked the ball well as a team and made Glasgow Storm work for extended periods on the defensive end with several offensive possessions lasting deep into the shot-clock. At the end of the first 10 minutes, Fury were able to take a comfortable 17-6 lead into the break of play. Many might have thought that this would have been game over for the Glasgow side who looked frustrated after a poor first quarter. This was not to be the case, however. Storm's Steven Murdoch (191-F/G) caught fire in the second quarter to cut the Fury lead. Murdoch's 11-point scoring spree and some lights out shooting from Storm's Kyle Haldane (184-PG-92) gave Storm a 33-32 lead as time wound down on an exciting first half. Fury were able to beat the buzzer before half-time and took a narrow 1-point lead to the locker room at the break. With the game evenly poised at 33-32, it was certainly still all to play for in the second-half. It was Fury who started strongest in the third quarter with defence playing the key to their success in a 20-7 quarter. Storm's scoring struggles returned in the third quarter which left the Glasgow outfit frustrated. With it all still to do in the final period, Storm looked inspired and ready to start their comeback once more. Unfortunately for Storm, Fury's experience prevailed down the stretch and an impressive contribution from Fury's Keith Bunyan and Adam Hammerschmidt (192-F-94) put the game within reach. Storm, who have continued to improve and cause upsets this season, continued to fight hard at both ends of the floor but could not reduce the deficit to any less than 10-points as Fury punched their ticket to this year's Playoff Final with a 68-58 win. Friday night also saw the other Men's Semi-Final take place, with St Mirren West College Scotland hosting Boroughmuir Blaze at the Lagoon. Blaze were victors in this one to set up a re-match of this year's Scottish Cup Final. Courtesy of: basketballscotland.co.uk
Boroughmuir shock Saints to make League Championship final - 5 days ago
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Boroughmuir Blaze are through to the final of the Scottish League Championship play-offs against Falkirk Fury at Oriam on April 1 after upsetting the seedings by defeating St Mirren 83-77 at the Lagoon Centre, Paisley. For once it was the unsung forwards of the Capital side who earned the plaudits with a brave batting effort against the bigger Saints. Former Edinburgh Kings player Mateusz Kruczynski (194-F-83) led Blaze with 19 points, Jordan Green adding 16 and Luke Gibson 13. But the gu... [read more]
Boroughmuir Blaze are through to the final of the Scottish League Championship play-offs against Falkirk Fury at Oriam on April 1 after upsetting the seedings by defeating St Mirren 83-77 at the Lagoon Centre, Paisley. For once it was the unsung forwards of the Capital side who earned the plaudits with a brave batting effort against the bigger Saints. Former Edinburgh Kings player Mateusz Kruczynski (194-F-83) led Blaze with 19 points, Jordan Green adding 16 and Luke Gibson 13. But the guards pitched in as well with Sam Stott (180-F-97) also netting 13, captain Eoghann Dover (185-G/F-89) 11 and John Browne nine. Scottish internationalist Browne was full of praise for the efforts of the Blaze front line. 'Jordan, Luke and Matt did really well against the Saints 'Bigs'! Fury had little trouble disposing of Glasgow Storm at home at the Mariner SC in what may have been their last game there. Fury won 68-58 with Storm unable to reproduce the form that gave them an upset away win over Edinburgh Kings in the first round. Two more Capital clubs, Pleasance and Edinburgh Lions, are through to the final of the men's division two play-offs which will take place at St Columba's HS at 3.45pm on Saturday. Pleasance, who are already the league champions, beat West Lothian Wolves 79-59 in the semi-finals while Lions took care of Heriot-Watt University 61-55. Edinburgh Kool Kats have still not heard the outcome of their appeal over their disputed Scottish Women's play-offs semi-final against Falkirk Fury after the game failed to take place at Portobello HS and was awarded 20-0 to their opponents. The women's final is also due to take place at Oriam on April 1 with Tayside Musketeers due to play Edinburgh University in the other semi-final at Grove Academy, Broughty Ferry on Sunday. Courtesy of: ediburghnews.com
Kieron Achara's double-double lands him Player of the Week award among Scots playing currently abroad: - 7 days ago
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Here is the weekly review of the top performing Scottish players, who play currently abroad. This week's number one is an experienced former international power forward Kieron Achara (208-83, agency: Two Points). He could not help Glasgow Rocks (16-9) in their last game. Despite Achara's very good performance Glasgow Rocks lost 68-76 at home to the lower-ranked (#8) Bristol Acadamy Flyers.
Here is the weekly review of the top performing Scottish players, who play currently abroad.
#1. This week's number one is an experienced former international power forward Kieron Achara (208-83, agency: Two Points, college: Duquesne, currently plays in United Kingdom). He could not help Glasgow Rocks (16-9) in their last game. Despite Achara's very good performance Glasgow Rocks lost 68-76 at home to the lower-ranked (#8) Bristol Acadamy Flyers.
He had a double-double by scoring 19 points and getting 12 rebounds. Achara also added 3 assists in 36 minutes on the court.
It was Glasgow Rocks' fourth consecutive loss in a row.
Achara has relatively good stats this year: 14.6ppg, 7.6rpg, 2.7apg, 1.6bpg, 1.2spg, 2FGP: 51.7%, 3FGP: 37.5% and FT: 84.1% in 25 games he played so far.
He has a dual citizenship: Scottish and Nigerian.
Achara played for the Scottish senior national team four years ago.
#2. Second place goes to former international forward Gareth Murray (201-84, college: Kalamazoo Valley CC, currently plays in United Kingdom) is a teammate of previously mentioned Kieron Achara. But that was another game of his team in British BBL which we would like to mention.
Murray. He was not able to help Glasgow Rocks (16-9) in their last game on Friday. Despite Murray's very good performance Glasgow Rocks was defeated 98-90 on the road by the lower-ranked Sheffield Sharks (#4).
He was the top scorer with 23 points. Murray also added 5 rebounds.
This season Murray has relatively solid stats: 14.1ppg, 4.7rpg, 2.2apg, 2FGP: 64.0%(89-139), 3FGP: 44.4%.
Former 33.3%; Dunfermline Reign starter played for the Scottish national team in 2013.
#3. The Scottish player who performed third best last week abroad was former international point guard Jonathan Bunyan (182-92, currently plays in United Kingdom) is a teammate of previously mentioned Kieron Achara. He played also in the last British BBL game facing Gareth Murray (above) in the other team.
Bunyan. He was not able to secure a victory for Glasgow Rocks (16-9) in their game against Sheffield Sharks (16-10).
Bunyan recorded 8 points in 19 minutes.
Glasgow Rocks lost 90-98 in Sheffield to the lower-ranked (#4) Sharks.
It's Bunyan's fourth season with the team.
This year he averages: 5.3ppg, 1.3rpg, 1.4apg, 2FGP: 45.3%, 3FGP: 30.1% and FT: 83.3% in 25 games.
Former Falkirk Clark Eriksson Fury starter played for the Scottish national team three years ago.
#4. Forward Grant Mackay (201-94, currently plays in NCAA2) couldn't help the St.Anselm College (13-8) in their game against the St.Thomas Aquinas College (15-3) in the NCAA2. Mackay's contribution was not very remarkable in Saturday's game.
He recorded only 2 points.
The St.Anselm College (#6) was badly defeated 91-72 in Sparkill by the St.Thomas Aquinas College.
The National Tournament Round 1 already ended in the NCAA2.
Mackay has been at the team for four years.
Mackay's overall stats this season are: 5.1ppg and 4.4rpg.
He used to play for the Scottish U18 national team
back in 2010.
One more player who has never been selected to any of national teams, but has Scottish passport:
#1.Yannick Onifade (201-C/F, currently plays in United Kingdom) managed to help Manchester Magic in a victory against the eighth-ranked Dragons (11-11) 80-64 in the British NBL D1 (second division) last Saturday.
Onifade scored only 2 points in 10 minutes.
Manchester Magic (17-4) is placed third in the NBL D1.
It was his team's third consecutive victory in a row.
There are only three games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game will be critical.
This year Onifade's overall stats are: 1.8ppg and 1.9rpg in nine games he played so far.
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