Basketball: Swansong for Swanson as Rocks make play-offs

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The Independent Online

The British Basketball League play-offs at Birmingham's NIA this weekend will be the last for Scottish Rocks' American coach Steve Swanson who is taking up an assistant's position at Idaho State University, a division one basketball school in the US collegiate system.

The Rocks did well to finish as runners-up in the Championship, just one win behind Newcastle Eagles, and face third-placed Sheffield Sharks in Saturday's semi-finals. The Eagles, chasing a clean sweep of domestic titles after also taking the BBL Cup and BBL Trophy, play Guildford Heat.

Swanson said: "My priority is preparing for the semi-final, but this was a situation which came up quickly and had to be addressed. Leaving Scotland is a tough decision and I'm going to miss the owners, staff, players and the thousands of fans who cheer their hearts out for us."

He added: "Coaching division one basketball in the States is my ambition and I simply couldn't pass up this opportunity."

English Basketball League division one champions Worthing Thunder booked their play-off place with a fine 105-90 win over Manchester Magic. Leading by two points from the first leg, the Thunder were 22-8 down before regaining control. In division two, West Herts Warriors and Mansfield Express had aggregate wins to reach the play-offs.

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