Great Britain international Gareth Murray is hoping Scottish pride will make the BBL Trophy Final an extra special occasion.
The Glasgow Rocks’ forward will step out against Worcester Wolves tomorrow, expecting the local favourites to have a favourable vocal backing at the Emirates Arena – something he believes can be a big factor.
“Playing in any BBL final is always exciting and it’s a huge chance to win silverware, but it is made even more exciting by being played out in front of our fans at our home court,” said Murray with an accompanying smile.
The Rocks are bidding to become only the second Scottish team to win the BBL Trophy, with Livingston crowned the very first winners, way back in 1988.
Murray has certainly played some of his best basketball of the season in the competition.
He produced an MVP performance in the thrilling quarter-final success at Manchester Giants and then delivered a critical cameo in the semi-final, second-leg victory over Cheshire Phoenix.
“I’m happy with the way the whole team played in that semi-final,” recalled Murray.
“If we produce the same defence, effort and intensity in the final, we have a huge chance of winning.”
He added, “I think it’s going to be a great match-up. The Wolves have been one of the most consistent teams so far this season, so it’s no surprise they have made it this far.
“It’s a one-off game and therefore anything can happen. I believe we can upset them!”
Murray will also line-up alongside another Scot in the shape of 21-year-old Jonny Bunyan.
The young guard has had to carry a big responsibility on his shoulders during recent months with veteran playmaker EJ Harrison suffering from injuries.
And, the ex-Falkirk Fury player has shown that he has what it takes to potentially play an essential role in the Final after recently scoring a season-high 15 points in a game against the title-chasing Sharks.
As for head-coach Sterling Davis, he is adamant his team can put their patchy league form to the back of their minds in their pursuit of some precious silverware.
He said, “We just need to focus on the magnitude of this game and the opportunity that we have in front of us.
“We have to put everything else behind us and only concentrate on the task at hand.”