Newcastle Eagles beat Leicester Riders to win BBL Trophy

Newcastle Eagles soared to a dramatic finish in Glasgow yesterday, tipping Leicester Riders to the BBL Trophy.

A strong finish saw the Eagles pull away to a 96-90 win over the Riders in the BBL Trophy Final in Glasgow on Sunday afternoon.

A game which had swung this way and that finished with Newcastle outscoring Leicester 18-7 over the final four-and-a-half minutes.

And the current BBL Championship leaders finished the job without player/coach Fab Flournoy, who suffered a nasty looking injury early in the fourth quarter.

Captain Charles Smith stole the MVP award with a magnificent display of long-range shooting in the final quarter that lifted his side level and then beyond a plucky Leicester side.

Smith had four triples in the final 10 minutes and five of six overall. Throw in seven rebounds and it’s easy to see why, even at the age of 39, ‘The Prince’ reigns supreme at the head of the Eagles’ court.

Martin led the scoring, but gave praise to all his team-mates after another exhilarating performance of high-pressure basketball ended in national glory.

“The feeling is relief a little bit,” he said.

“It wasn’t our best effort but you have to give them a lot of credit for taking us out of our rhythm.

“But we hit some shots down the stretch which turned it around for us.”

“I think our experience was key down the line. It was a reversal of what happened in last year’s Cup final.

“But in the end it was a combination of things. Chuck was amazing at the end and really pulled it out for us.”

Martin himself was looking a good bet for MVP honours until Smith spectacularly took over, but he was really happy with his game.

“I’m pleased with the way I played. Obviously you strive for perfection and don’t always get there but I’m happy with how I contributed and played.

“All I care about is that the team wins and that’s what’s important to us all. Chuck deserved the MVP for the way he finished, but as long as we win I don’t care who gets MVP.”