An emotional Kieron Achara fought back the tears as his basketball career ended in victory, but defeat.

A 72-65 win for Glasgow Rocks over London City Royals wasn’t enough to stop the Scots from crashing out of the BBL Playoffs in the quarter-finals as their rivals advanced 140-132 on aggregate.

After trailing by 15 from Friday’s first leg, Vincent Lavandier’s men faced annihilation when they fell 26-5 behind. And although Achara signed off with 15 points and ten rebounds as the Rocks gamely stormed back to lead by nine in the fourth quarter, the Londoners survived to join Leicester and Sheffield in the last four.

“There are mixed emotions: anger, disappointment, frustration,” said Achara, 35, admitted.

“It will take a while to sink in that was my last game. I’m so disappointed with the way we started. London City came to kill us off and they managed it. I’m proud of how we fought back and we had opportunities. But it’s been the story of our whole season. Mistakes that cost us and it was too little too late at the end.”

Ali Fraser led Glasgow with 28 points but the Rocks streak without a major trophy now extends to 16 seasons and counting. And although Achara will retire without ever winning a major honour despite ending as Great Britain’s second-most capped male player, he believes Lavandier can build a squad over the forthcoming summer that can finally deliver silverware.

“I suppose I could ask myself whether I should have signed for Leicester when I came back from overseas and won everything,” the ex-GB captain admitted. “But I’m proud that I stuck with the Rocks and I think I’m leaving with the club in a better place. It’s come a long way with I’m positive Vincent will do great things.”

Newcastle Eagles lost 102-93 to Sheffield Sharks to exit 191-187 while Leicester Riders survived a scare to oust Cheshire Phoenix 141-130 over two legs.

On Monday, league champions London Lions were stunned by Plymouth Raiders, losing 86-72 at the Copper Box in their second leg in a 177-169 defeat.

It means the semi-finals will be Leicester v Plymouth and London City v Sheffield.

Leicester Riders [2] v Plymouth Raiders [8]
First Leg: Wednesday 08 May, 7:30pm – Plymouth Pavilions
Second Leg: Sunday 12 May, 6pm – Morningside Arena
London City Royals [4] v DBL Sharks Sheffield [6]
First Leg: Thursday 09 May, 7:30pm – EIS Sheffield
Second Leg: Saturday 11 May, 8pm – Crystal Palace National Sports Centre

Meanwhile Tony Garbelotto, who left Worcester Wolves last week, has been named as head coach of Japanese B-League side Ibaraki Robots

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