BASKETBALL: CWA Fury sign-off their home season with a bang tomorrow.
A stunning 85-73 win for the Lynnsport-based National League Division Four Play-Off underdogs at Brentwood Fire has set them up with a home quarter-final against Londoners Brunel University Ducks, 6pm.
The Ducks won the South East Division and beat divisional rivals Sussex Bears 92-75 in the first round of the play-offs.
Fury were the only team in the first round to achieve a road victory and did so against a team ranked fourth overall to their 13th place seeding.
Tomorrow’s winners will face a trip to Team Newcastle University or Barking & Dagenham Thunder in the semi-finals with the final due to be played at Sheffield.
Tomas Liberis scored the first points of Saturday’s game on a contested drive and from that point Fury were never headed.
The spectacular play of Eivydas Aleska helped Fury build on the first basket to open a 6-0 lead and they were 22-16 ahead at the break.
Deividas Butkevicius was in dominant form close to the boards, collecting rebounds and being on hand to finish. One stunning block led directly to a dunk from Richard Milbourne. At one point, Fury held a double-digit lead but were satisfied with a 38-29 half-time margin.
Fire came back to within four points at 48-44 and for the first time there was concern among the Fury followers.
But then Giedrius Pakalniskis hit a hugely valuable triple to extend the lead and Fire never got as close again.
The third quarter ended with Fury ahead by 59-52 and they led by 15 points with just over three minutes remaining.
A flurry of points from turn-overs against a pressing defence allowed Fire to bring the lead down to single figures but Fury held out.
Aleska finished the game with 23 points, Butkevicius hit 19 and Pakalniskis 11.
Tomorrow will also mark the end of an era for Fury captain Richard Milbourne, who is moving to Canada.
He made his Fury debut in 2006 when Fury were in Division One of the National League.