This week, the Game of the Week team was in Edinburgh to watch Pleasance BC host Edinburgh University in the quarter final of the Scottish Cup. Pleasance narrowly edged out the university side, coming away with the 67-62 win on Monday night.
Edinburgh University and Pleasance BC both currently sit in joint 7th in the SBC league and their last matchup had seen Pleasance come away as the victors in a 76-71 win. After both receiving a bye in the first round and each knocking out second division sides on the way to the quarter final, the teams faced each other once again Monday night.
Pleasance struck first in the game as Mates Soria – who came into the game averaging 10.5 points per game so far in the league – beat Edinburgh’s Reece Jackson off the dribble and pulled up from the elbow for two. Pleasance’s second highest scorer with 16.4 points per game, Rokas Stonys, then followed this up with a driving finger roll in the paint to give the team an early 4-0 lead. A turnover by Edinburgh then lead to a finish at the rim for Soria.
Lauritts Juffer would put the first 6 points on the board for the university side as he got to the rim with a nice a reverse layup, followed by a post move that found the basket with the defence all over him. He was then fouled and went to the line to sink two free throws, tying the game at 6-6. Juffer went on to score 10 points before the end of the quarter.
Edinburgh University’s leading scorer, Reece Jackson made his presence felt early in the game, as he blocked Douglas Gordon’s layup attempt off the glass, and then on an ensuing possession, pulled up from the top of the arc for the two to give his team the 8-6 lead. After Gordon made two shots from the line to tie the game, Jackson faked out his defender on the other end and glided inside for the finish. However, Michael Padua quickly took the lead for Pleasance as he pulled up off the dribble for the three-pointer.
Juffer continued to be a factor inside for the remainder of the quarter, finding Christopher Arazim on the three-point line for the trey and rounding out the quarter with a post move inside just before the clock expired. As the first quarter ended, Edinburgh University lead Pleasance 19-15.
An early turnover in the second quarter by Pleasance lead to a fast-break dunk on the other end by Reece Jackson. Dominkyas Dabulskis got himself on the board for Pleasance, converting on the other end and then following it up with the offensive putback off the Pdua miss. Coming out of timeout, Jackson extended Edinburgh’s lead to 23-19, pulling up for a two from the wing off the dribble.
Edinburgh would play the majority of their offense through Juffer in the second period, feeding it to him in the post and allowing him to find shooters as they moved around the court. Edinburgh point guard, Kike Caballero got himself on the score sheet in the second as well, losing his defender in the paint with a nice up-and-under move and following up it up with a deep three in the face of his defender, pushing the lead out to 28-19.
Pleasance were not about to let the game slip away from them however, as they quickly narrowed the deficit by going on a 14-5 run to round out the half. This was started off by a nice screen and fade between Marco Giannco and Rokas Stonys, allowing Giannco to find Stonys wide open for the jumper. Stonys would then score 4 more points as he came off of a screen and pulled up once again, sinking the long-range jumper and then made his way inside with a nifty eurostep layup with the left hand. A couple of free throws and a layup on the break by Soria, and Pleasance had tied the game at 33-33 by the end of the quarter. As both teams went to the locker room it was all to play for.
Pleasance reclaimed the lead in the second half as Soria pulled up for the fade-away jumper over Jackson. The two, who had been going back-and-forth for most of the game, then took turns to score on each other as Jackson answered back on the other end with two jumpers of his own.
Douglas Taylor then got in on the action for the first time in the game. After Juffer blew a dunk attempt on one end, he was there to finish for Pleasance with a scoop layup off the feed from Giannco on the other end. He then followed this up by converting a three-pointer off the dribble to put Pleasance up 44-37.
Turnovers hurt Edinburgh University for the remainder of the quarter but they weren’t going away. Reece Jackson added 5 more points before the end of the period including a three-pointer to narrow the deficit to 54-50 just before the clock expired.
As both teams struggled to score at the beginning of the final period, Edinburgh soon tied the game at 54 a-piece as Caballero skipped past his defender for the finish and Jackson went to the line and sank both free throws.
As the game went back and forth and multiple fouls put both teams near team fouls, Edinburgh eventually called a timeout with 1.46 left on the clock and Pleasance up 61-59 after Gordon made one shot from the line. The pressure of the game was clearly getting to both teams as they both struggled to score from the field. With 40 seconds left and the game still in Pleasance’s hands, Edinburgh took a full 21 seconds before Liam Howden fouled Dabulskis. On the subsequent inbounds play, Douglas Taylor was fouled and went to the line, making both free throws to put Pleasance up 63-59.
Chris Arazim, who had struggled with his shot for most of the second half, then received the ball on the three-point line, pump-faked his defender and stepped back to knock down the clutch trey to bring Edinburgh within one point. However, as Soria made another two free throws from the line, the university side did not take another timeout and turned the ball over in the last 8 seconds of the game, allowing Dabulskis to finish a layup on the other end just as the final buzzer expired and Pleasance came away as victors, winning 67-62.
Reece Jackson finished the game as Edinburgh’s highest scorer with 24 points, while Kiki Cabalerro added 14 and Lauritts Juffer added 10. Mates Soria had 23, and Rokas Stonys had 11 in Pleasance’s win.
Speaking with Edinburgh University head coach, Achilleas Chatzitheocharis after the game, he had the following to say about his team’s performance;
“Pleasance played a better game, more consistent game. We were plagued by turnovers, we turned over the ball even in situations when we didn’t have any pressure and this really cost us and we couldn’t make a three all night I think we made maybe 2 threes’ the whole game. Other than this it’s not difficult, we lost by 5 points, 2 or 3 more shots could have gone our way, 2 or 3 less turnovers and we could have won the game. But, fair play to pleasance and good luck to them in the semi-final.”
Pleasance coach, Scott Sanford took a lot of positives from his team’s win;
“This game we fought through our mistakes, everybody worked for each other and obviously we battled hard enough to get the win over a team that’s taken the top teams to 2/3 point games…. It was a team mentality. We have actually had some pretty poor discipline in our past games, taking our attention away from playing, this time the guys stayed focused, they didn’t get involved in the bad things and they focused on the game in hand and it worked.”
In the next round of the Scottish Cup and in their next league fixture on the 15th of November, Pleasance BC will face Boroughmuir Blaze. Edinburgh University will also face Blaze in their next league game on the 10th of November.