Scottish Premier Basketball takes 1 win from 3 behind Historic Achara performance
Last Sunday saw Scotland’s two professional sides, Rocks and Pride, take to the court in BBL and WBBL action respectively. Also representing Scotland, Edinburgh Kings U18 Men hosted a historic game versus Myerscough Academy, in the first ever BasketballEngland Premier division game to be held in Scotland.
WBBL – Pride (4-9) 58 v 61 London Lions (4-7)
First up on Sunday afternoon, Caledonia Pride tipped off against BA London Lions in the WBBL. A close battle throughout, Pride were led by Tia Weledji with 22 points and 9 rebounds. Shawnisay Millar was dominant off the bench, often Head Coach Bart Sengers go to 6th-man, Millar dropped 15 points 2 rebounds and 2 assist.
Lions were led by veteran Kristie Velasquez who guided her London side to the 58-61 win with an impressive personal stat line of 17 points and 7 assists. Lauren Christie dropped a 5 ‘n’ 5 piece on a very poor shooting performance.
NBL U18 – Kings (4-3) 48 v 90 Myerscough (11-0)
Sandwiching the two professional matchups on Sunday, Portobello hosted the first ever NBL Premier game in Scotland. Myerscough made the trip north of the border, looking to continue their undefeated start to the U18 Men North Premier League, sitting at 10-0 before tip. The English squad does also have some Scottish interest as it boasts a large group of players produced by SBC clubs across the country.
Kings head coach Craig Nicol said pre game,
Really looking forward to what should be an excellent game. Myerscough have an exceptionally talented squad including many Scottish players most of which I have worked with in various roles at as well. Glad to finally have a home game after starting the season with a long run of away fixtures. Will be great to play in front of a home crowd.
Stirling Knights were represented as former Knights Lucas Hamill, Ruari Doherty, Loui Sullivan and Lewis McGlasson helped lead Myerscough on the day.
Good to catch up with our Alumni Lewis McGlasson, Ruari Doherty, Lucas Hamill and Louis Sullivan in town today for their BIG W #MadeInStirling
Myerscough also feature former Falkirk Fury duo Sardar Pandher and Jordan Ferguson along with Mikey Irvine, St Mirren.
The English academy ran out winners, 90-48 to remain perfect on the season.
BBL Cup – Rocks  95 v 81  Manchester Giants
The final tip on Sunday was the showcase event, the second leg of the British Basketball League Cup, Rocks held a slim 8 point advantage in their attempt to reach their 11th final in 20 years.
Having featured in oh so many finals, Rocks only had one piece of silverware to their name, the Playoff trophy all those years ago, which was lifted by Keith Bunyan and his side. This time, younger brother Jonny, would be looking to get his hands on his own trophy, to even the score.
With all eyes on the Emirates Arena, fingers were crossed for another dominant performance from Alistair Fraser and Bouna Ndiaye to help them book a ticket to Birmingham, after Ndiaye’s 24 points outing in the first leg. However, it was Kieron Achara who would lead the line, rolling back the years for a historic performance, allowing all the young fans in the arena to witness greatness and see what took Achara across the world for Hoops.
Achara and the Rocks were dominant from the outset, knowing that the Giants had a tough task on hand to overturn the opening leg score. A packed crowed made their voices heard, giving the Rocks the added support needed.
Head Coach Darryl Wood emphasised the importance of reaching the final more so for the veterans who are beginning to countdown the years left in their career, to ensure they go out with some titles.
Achara put the team on his shoulders, offensively and defensively, taking the tough task of guarding American Big Willie Clayton, who leads the league in rebounds (15.4).
Achara went on to drop 22 points (7/10 FG) 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals and a pair of blocks.
By EFF that was @KieronAchara's best game of the season (32), he's not had a higher EFF than that since March 2017. His 22 points is also his joint highest of the season (with the 1st leg), again not had more since April 2017. Guessing the big fella was keen to get to Birmingham!
— Daniel Routledge (@dan_routledge) January 13, 2019
Rocks went on to win 95-81 to secure their place in the BBL Cup Final in Birmingham, where they will take on London Lions (13-2).