The Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill was in attendance at the Emirates Arena tonight to see the Glasgow Rocks commit some offensive crimes as they stooped to a 69 points to 81 defeat to near rivals, the ESH Group Eagles Newcastle.
This BBL Cup quarter-final was seen as a chance for the Rocks to claim some silverware this season, but a poor second-half showing from the Rocks gifted the Eagles victory as they soared through to the semi-finals to face either the Sheffield Sharks or the Durham Wildcats.
The Rocks conceded 22 points through turnovers, a fact not lost on Rocks head coach, Stirling Davis.
“I thought second-half, they (Eagles Newcastle) go on a 16 and 2 run at the beginning of the half and I think that really put us in the deficit right there” said Davis.
“Looking at the stat sheet, 19 turnovers which they capitalised 22 points from, that was a big problem that we faced yet again against these guys.”
Having lost the night before to the Durham Wildcats in the BBL, Davis was keen to stress that it wasn’t tiredness that was behind his side’s poor performance but concentration instead.
“I think it was just a matter of us not concentrating in the second-half. We knew they would come out and throw a punch. We have to be consistent with our performance from one half to the next.
“For us not to be able to get the stops when we needed to and for them to score 16 or 14 unanswered points, that’s a big thing to overcome.
“I thought we battled, we played hard defence. That is something that is progress but you know like I said before it’s not about a half it’s about playing a full game.”
A big plus for the Rocks though, was the home debut for new signing Alex Marcotullio. The British international whose mother hails from Glasgow scored 11 points the night before on his debut against Durham and impressed again with another 11 points against the Eagles including three, three pointers.
Head coach Davis said: “Alex will be fine, he will be good for us. He’s a smart player, he kind of spreads the floor a bit but he also moves the basketball very well. He showed a different facet to his game tonight with his penetration. He will definitely be a plus for us especially when he gets more used to the system.”
The Rocks opened the scoring in the match through Sterling Davis and should have put themselves further in front but misses from Murray and Marcotullio allowed Andrew Lasker to tie the game for the Eagles.
From then on it was one way traffic as they Eagles controlled the majority of the game. A tenacious low scoring first period ended 10-15 to the Eagles.
The second period was again low scoring with three pointers from Murray, Davis and Urli being the highlights for the Rocks.
At the half-time interval the Eagles were ahead 34-39.
The Rocks did start the second-half brightly and came within a point of the Eagles at 40-41 but that would be as close as the Rocks got to the Eagles as they finished the third period 53-61.
The final quarter was when the Eagles really soared as they took at one stage a 20 point lead over the Rocks. However a late flurry from the Rocks gave the end score line a little bit more respectability as EJ Harrison and Alex Marcotullio both scored three pointers.
Up next for the Rocks is two away games next weekend in the BBL, first on Saturday against the Birmingham Knights and then on the Sunday against the Cheshire Phoenix.
“I see every game as a game we got to win right now” said Davis. “I don’t see it as a game we are going to win, it’s going to take hard work and they are right there were we are. It will be another two tough contests for us so we just got to try and stay concentrated and try and get some wins.”
Check out more of Phil McCloy’s match photos via our official Flickr website.