The Cinderellas found
their glass reward and secured the happy ending predicted by coach Billy
- tipped by virtually nobody to finish top of the heap this season - have
picked up this season's BBL Championship at Wembley, defeating Sheffield
Sharks 84-75 in a pulsating conclusion to the domestic season, captain
Billy Singleton holding the glass prize aloft to the applause of a sea
of blue supporters.
"We're the only team
that can claim the double this season," grinned Mims. "We're Cinderella
no more. We're double champions."
It all looked so
different when Sharks were ahead 45-36 at half-time, Leicester displaying
none of the sharpness which had taken the Cup holders through to a surprising
But Riders' famous
five starters rallied, despite losing sole bench contributor Karl Brown
after just two minutes with a torn ACL injury, storming out of the interval
with a 12-2 burst which put them into a third quarter lead which they would
With Mims again acting
as cheerleader in chief on the sidelines - joined by a wheelchair-bound
Brown, Chris Finch's Northern Conference champions were kept at bay, despite
a 0-7 burst in the final period that cut the gap to just 70-68.
However they folded,
missing 11 consecutive shots as Riders ran up seven points without reply,
the departure of Terrell Myers - Sharks top scorer with 14 points - after
his fifth foul near the finish only serving to unleash Leicester's ultimate
"Everybody has us
as underdogs," said Larry Johnson, who scored 24 points and was named as
the finals' Most Valuable Player. "That just helped us get motivated to
Riders' Ralph Blalock
led all scorers with 25.