28-7 FURY FINAL STANZA STUNS KINGS!
SONY CENTRE FURY 63 City of Edinburgh Basketball Club 64 Scottish Cup Senior Men Semi-Final
Scottish Cup holders Fury will not defend their title in the final after losing out by 1pt to rivals Edinburgh Kings. Down by 22pts going into the final quarter – Fury still looked down and out as they trailed by 20 with under 5 minutes to play. Then a 3pt barrage by the Falkirk side saw them stun the capitol side and reduce the gap to 5 with 5 straight unanswered threes. Veteran Captain Keith Bunyan led Fury’s long range assault with three triples in the final quarter and had the huge army of Fury fans on their feet as he took Fury to within a single point at 61-60 in the final minute. Austrian Adam Hammerschmidt tied the game at 63 apiece after he was fouled by Kings Ryan Armour with 21 seconds left in the game – cooly sinking his two free throws. From the in-bounds play, Kings could not get an ‘open look’ and were forced into a shot from the corner with 2 seconds on the clock. That shot missed but fell to Kings centre Ali McKay who appeared to be fouled ‘on the floor’ as he tried to literally throw the ball backwards from the rebound to the basket. However the officials with 1.2 seconds left on the clock adjudged McKay had taken a legitimate shot and was fouled in the act of shooting, sending him to the line. With the Fury fans at full volume, the big Kings centre missed the first but to his credit made the vital second. After a Fury timeout, the final shot of the game from Bunyan ended up short and saw the Kings take an incredible game by a single point. While the main focus of discussion after the game was on the call that sent McKay to the line in the final seconds and the ‘non calls’ made as Fury twice fouled as they tried to take advantage of the fact they had a ‘foul to give’ in these final seconds. Fury can take credit for an incredible finish but will take little comfort from the basketball they played in the first three periods. The game had started with the Kings opening the scoring and Hammerschmidt giving Fury their only lead in the game when he hit his first three to put Fury 3-2 ahead. After that the visitors took control of the game and had Fury on the back foot for three quarters of the game. Fury struggled to match Kings energy and with their offence looking out of sync – Kings went from an 8pt opening period lead to 11 at the half and 22 at the end of the third. Momentum was clearly with the capital side and when starting guard Bryan Munnoch fouled out mid way through the 4th, things looked as though they could not get any worse. But with the re-introduction of Lithuanian Eddie Leginas into the game for Munnoch, Fury started closing in on the Kings. One three after another, with no reply as a result of tenacious Fury defence, The Kings were in meltdown. Even timeouts from the Kings coach in the 5th 9th and 10th minutes of the final quarter could not stop the Fury charge who were being roared on by a fantastic home support. But the final result for Fury, was not to be, in what would have been one of the biggest comebacks in Scottish basketball. Adam Hammerschmidt led the Sony sponsored side with 15pts. CentreKornelijus Dauksas who worked tirelessly throughout the game against centre Ali McKay had 10 with fellow Lithuanian Leginus on 12 ( 4 threes ). Keith Bunyan had 9 ( 3 threes) with Munnoch on 8 and Foussas on 7. Fury Headcoach John Bunyan commented to Heraldsport after the game – “ My feelings before the game was that it would be a tough match for both sides and that proved to be the case. The Kings, I felt played very good basketball for the majority of the game, they have a strong group of players and they played with a solid determination throughout and like all teams who play us on our home court, they get a boost from playing in front of a great crowd! As far as we were concerned, we did not play our best in these opening three quarters but of course a lot of that is down to the efforts of opposition. We made some poor offensive choices and that affected the flow of our offence in the first three quarters. To take the 4th period 28-7, against one of your key opponents, is big and shows the level we can play at. Adam, to top score for us, to come up big down the stretch and to play 40 minutes provided a big performance for us. The other 5 who played very big minutes for us – Keith and Greg who are no spring chickens, Eddie, Bryan and Kornelius, they all gave 100% and like me will feel really disappointed we just failed to get the win. We have now to focus on the Championship and a really big match in the BBL TROPHY MATCH V LOUGHBOROUGH RIDERS
Photo Credit: Alex Johnston