Bears 88 (23, 48, 61) (Davis 24, Johnson 19, Alderson 18)
Eagles 83 (20, 43, 61) (Arinze 30)
Brighton Bears battled,
fought and scrapped their way into the BBL play-off final on Saturday night,
holding off a determined Newcastle Eagles 88-83 at the NIA.
The south coast side
won the battle of the boards by some distance with Rico Alderson adding
14 points to his 18 points, helped by Wil Johnson.
"We knew we couldn't
give them second chances because they're a great shooting team," said the
Bears centre. "That was key for us."
Newcastle led 39-38
at half-time but failed to hold their nerve from the foul line in the closing
Cup winners Brighton
took control in the third quarter to grab a double digit cushion but Fab
Flournoy's men stormed back to trail by just one point entering the final
Yet although Newcastle
were only three points in arrears with 90 seconds left but Niki Arinze
failed to convert two free throws to leave his tally stuck on a game-best
However the fate
of the Tyneside outfit was sealed when Sterling Davis fired a pressure
three-pointer from the cornerto make it 84-78 and when he stole the ball
off Andy Mavis and returned it for a clinching dunk, it only added further
lustre to the result.
The All-Star led
his side with 24 with Nurse now relishing a chance to repeat his success
with Manchester of 2000.
"You always have
to get to a final to win one," he said. "I don't think we played very well
but we got it done."