This weekend will see 14 teams take to the Oriam in Edinburgh to compete in the 2018 SBC Cup Finals. With the event just a few days away, let’s take a look at the teams competing and hear from some of the coaches in the run-up to the big day.
14 teams, 7 Scottish Cup Finals, 2 great days of action.
Join us for this year's SBC Scottish Cup Finals at @Oriamscotland next weekend.
— basketballscotland (@basketballscot) January 20, 2018
Saturday 27th of January
11:00 am – Under 16 Men’s Final – Tayside Musketeers v City of Edinburgh
The first game of the event will be the U16 Men’s Finals between Tayside Musketeers and City of Edinburgh. Despite being not as fortunate in the SBC league, the City of Edinburgh U16’s knocked off some stiff competition on their way to the SBC Cup Finals, narrowly defeating Grampian Flyers 73-72 and then going on to hand losses to Glasgow Rocks and St. Mirren West College Scotland. Tayside currently sit second in the U16 SBC League table and on their way to securing their place in Saturday’s Final defeated Boroughmuir Blaze, Sony Centre Fury before taking down number 1 in the league, Stirling Knights.
Chris Kindlen, coach of the Tayside U16’s had this to say ahead of Saturdays’ game;
“The season so far has been mixed we have had some good performances against some of the best programmess in the country. Injuries have slowed us down a bit. But I’ve been pleased with how the team has performed and I’m looking forward to a successful play off run. Saturday’s game will be a test, Kings are a very good side that are doing extremely well in the English league. We have some explosive and dynamic players who are hard to stop and if we can get them going offensively we do be a tough team to stop. We have been good this year defensively and will be looking to maintain that I’m the final!”
City of Edinburgh coach, Troy Batten had this to say about the team’s season so far and looking ahead to Saturday’s game;
“Our U16 men have done brilliantly to get into the Scottish Cup Final this year. Our approach this season has been completely different as we now compete in both the Scottish National League and the English Basketball League at this level. We don’t have separate teams for these competitions, players have gone between teams quite often as we seek to maximise their opportunity to learn and develop through the different competitions. The players’ dedication to this new system has been outstanding and I’m glad so many of them will get the chance to experience a Scottish Cup Final on Saturday. We put in a strong performance in the league against Tayside back in October, but that’s a long time ago now. We know we’ll need to be at our best again on Saturday to come away with the win”
1:15 pm – Under 18 Women’s Final – Lady Rocks v City of Edinburgh
The second event of the day will see another appearance from a City of Edinburgh team, this time the U18 Women. With 7 wins in 7 games, City of Edinburgh are yet to be beaten in the league this year. On their way to the finals, they took down Boroughmuir Blaze and St. Mirren. Their opponents, Lady Rocks sit atop the U18 Women’s league table with a 6-3 record. On their way to the finals, the Rocks defeated West Lothian Wolves and Knights Fury Central.
In the run-up to Saturday’s game, City of Edinburgh coach, Doug Reilly had this to say;
We also had a chance to speak with Lady Rocks coach, Erin Gilbride who had the following to say about her team’s performance this season and looking ahead to Saturday’s game;
‘It has been a great season for us with still a relatively young squad who have built on their experience from last year. We have worked hard on individual defence which has reflected in the improvement of our results. The girls have benefited from being involved in a number of competitive games which have gone right to the wire and are continuously learning and improving. In terms of the weekend, we know we are up against an organised and experienced team. Our girls need to go into the game ready to execute offensive opportunities and play with defensive intensity. Most importantly they need to play with confidence and enjoy the experience that the game will bring. ‘
3:30 pm – Wheelchair Basketball Final presented by CliniMed – Lothian Phoenix v St Mirren Warriors
At 3:30 pm, Lothian Phoenix will take to the floor to take on St.Mirren Warriors. Warriors currently sit as the team to beat, holding the top spot in the SBC Wheelchair Basketball league with a 3-1 record. In their semi-final, Warriors defeated Grampian Flyers 55-25. Lothian Phoenix sit 4th in the league with 1 win and 1 loss. On the way to Finals, Phoenix defeated Dundee Dragons 67-23.
5:45 pm – Senior Men Final – City of Edinburgh v Boroughmuir Blaze
The main event on Saturday will be the Senior Men’s Finals between City of Edinburgh Kings and Boroughmuir Blaze. In the league, Blaze sit in second place with a 11-4 record, with City of Edinburgh sitting just below them with a 10-4 record. On their way to the finals, City of Edinburgh took down Ayshire Tornadoes, St. Mirren and Sony Centre Fury, whilst Blaze defeated Heriot Watt, Stirling Knights and Pleasance BC. Both teams have met each other twice already this season, with each team coming away with a win on the others’ court.
We caught up with Blaze captain, Eoghann Dover to get his thoughts ahead Saturday’s final;
“It’s good to be back in another final and we just want to make sure we start the game at the right intensity and give ourselves the best chance to take it home. We know Kings are a good team and they’ve started clicking over the past few months, they’re moving the ball really well right now and have a lot of options so they are tough to contain we know we’ll need to go out there and play as a team if we’re going to take the win.”
Kings Coach, Craig Nicol also had the following in regards to the lead up to Saturday’s game;
“It’s always a great achievement to make a Scottish Cup Final and testament to our team’s hard work all season. We know that anything can happen in a Final and recent form can go out the window. Last week we put in a strong performance to defeat Blaze but we also know they were missing some key players. We expect a much closer contest on Saturday. We just need to play our game of team basketball, suffocating defense and making good decisions. We’ve been performing at a high level in recent weeks, we’ll need to be at our very best again to give ourselves a chance at winning the Club’s 8th Scottish Cup at this level.”
Sunday 28th of January
11:00 am – Under 16 Women Final – Lady Rocks v Perth Phoenix
The first event on Sunday will see U16 Lady Rocks go head-to-head with Perth Phoenix. Perth Phoenix has yet to be beaten so far this season, holding a 10-0 record and the 1-spot in the league. On their way to the Finals, Perth Phoenix knocked off Sony Centre Fury, Tayside Musketeers and Polonia Phoenix.
We had the chance to speak to Phoenix coach, Russell Kesson on how he felt about the team’s season and going into Sunday’s game;
“We have had a very enjoyable season so far. I really like the effort and commitment from my whole squad and how hard they have worked for each other in all of our games. The team has a lot of fun while training and playing and that is a result of the unity within the group. The players are learning and growing in every game and I see positive steps in their development every time they play. This weekend is just another opportunity for the players to play, have fun and gain more experience. We want to go out and enjoy the game and give our supporters plenty to cheer about.”
Despite only playing 8 games so far in the league, Lady Rocks have still managed to win 75% of their games, as they hold a 6-2 record. In their run to the Sunday’s Final, Rocks took down Glasgow City, Ayr Storm and West Lothian Wolves.
Lady Rocks head coach, Tony Mcdaid had this to say ahead of the game;
“We are delighted to be participating in this year’s SBC Cup Finals, particularly as our junior and senior team are also playing in the event. This is a special weekend for everyone associated with our club.We have had a positive season so far and the team continues to improve. We look forward to playing against a very strong Perth Phoenix team and I’m sure that the final will be very competitive. We will encourage our girls to enjoy the occasion, and have fun!”
1:15 pm – Under 18 Men Final – Sony Centre Fury v Perth Phoenix
The next event of the day will see another appearance from Perth Phoenix, this time in the U18 final against Sony Centre Fury. Despite sitting in the lower half of the SBC league table, Perth Phoenix have had a great run of form in the Cup, defeating City of Edinburgh, Glasgow Rocks and Grampian Flyers on the way to the final.
Perth Phoenix coach, Russell Kesson had this to say about his team in the run-up to the final;
“We have a talented core group of players in the squad and once they learn to play with consistency then they are capable of turning some of the close losses into wins. The squad has had some frustrating results and performances in the league, but have shown much more consistency in the cup. Our opponents are top of the league so should be favourites in this game. Our squad will go out and work hard and look to make the most of the opportunities we create in the game. We will need to have a consistent effort throughout the game and be willing to stand up to the aggression shown by our opponents in order to have a chance of success. We are all looking forward to the encounter and will do our best to give our supporters the performance they deserve.”
Sony Centre Fury have only had one loss so far this season and sit atop the SBC league table with 14 wins. In their journey to the Finals, Fury knocked out Boroughmuir Blaze, Stirling Knights and St. Mirren.
Fury head coach, Keith Bunyan had this to say about his team’s performance and looking ahead to the final;
“We have had a great season so far and are delighted to have made it to the Cup Final. We had a tough cup draw, facing 3 of the top 4 league sides in the league and it shows great consistency in our performances to make it through to the final. We have had strong performances from all 12 players in our squad throughout both league and cup play and it is the depth of our squad that has been our greatest strength this season. Our squad is excited and looking forward to a tough and hopefully entertaining final. Finally, I would just like to take the opportunity to thank all of the families and Fury supporters that have been such an integral part of our success this season, I hope you all enjoy a great day out.”
3:30 pm – Senior Women Final – Edinburgh University v Lady Rocks
The final game of the Finals will culminate in the Senior Women’s Finals between Edinburgh University and Lady Rocks. Edinburgh University has had a fairly up and down season up until now but has really performed in the Cup, knocking out Tayside Musketeers and West Lothian Wolves to reach the final.
Edinburgh University head coach, Jordan Webb had this to say in the lead up to Sunday’s game;
“Our season started with real inconsistency but has seen steady improvement. Early in the season, there were games where we just didn’t execute to the best of our ability but our recent form has seen some great performances against some good teams. It’s of course our job now to try to keep improving each day we get on the floor. Our focus going into the final is to maintain the defensive intensity which we have been building throughout the season and to play together. If we do those things we will give ourselves a great chance.”
Lady Rocks has been one of the better teams in the Women’s SBC and sit just behind City of Edinburgh in the league with an 8-4 record. Rocks knocked out some of the top competition in the league on the way to the finals, defeating Polonia Phoenix and St. Mirren.
Colin Haldane, head coach of the Rocks had this to say in the run-up to Sunday’s game;