Out of contract GB star Ali Fraser has temporarily signed for his native club Fury and delivered a pro performance as he racked up 18 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks in a convincing win over Glasgow Storm at the Mariner in front of a capacity 300 home fans.
Fraser is in the best shape of his career and dominated not only inside but showed he has over the years also developed a solid outside shot. But it was not only Ali who shone on the night as Fury started their campaign to regain the clean sweep of Scottish titles they had in season 14-15.
Up 10 at the end of the opening stanza, 25-15, Fury followed that up with successive 25-point quarters in the second and third periods, only to tail off in the final period.
The Sony sponsored side demonstrated superb teamwork in the opening minutes as all five of their starters scored, one after the other. Fraser opened the scoring with a two point play then Fury hit a trio of threes in a row with new signing, Austrian Adam Hammerschmidt leading the charge. Guards Eddy Leginus and Bryan Munnoch followed Adam from beyond the arc and centre Ross Munnoch added a two for a 13-4 lead. Then there were further threes from Fraser and rookie Scotland international Daniel Tran, with literally his first touch of the ball.
Fraser completed his nine point personal in the first with two more twos and Gibson added another two for a 25-15 start.
It was a testimony to the strength of the Fury side that John Bunyan’s subs included the country’s best ever three-point shooter – Keith Bunyan and the teams MVP of 15-16 – Greek forward Greg Foussas.
With Frenchman Walter Lubeigt unavailable, Fury stormed out to a 50-29 half-time lead against what must be said was not a bad quality Glasgow side that had heavily recruited with a number of experienced players in their line-up.
The third saw the teams trading baskets in a high scoring third period 25-24 , the opposite of a 7-7 final period as the teams ran their bench.
Apart from Fraser’s 18 points, Hammerschmidt and Leginus shared 26; Bunyan and Munnoch shared 16 and Gibson and Foussas shared 14. Daniel Tran had an impressive debt in the point guard spot with five points.
Fury’s headcoach told Heraldsport: “This was a good opening game for the team. Storm have an experienced group of players so our performance was even better than the 22 pt scoreline suggests.
“Three periods of 25 on offence showed consistency and when you alter your line-up and how you play, even slightly it can have an adverse effect. This was not the case and the fact that Ali and Adam had actually practised a great deal with our core squad really showed.”