Play-Off Final (NIA)
Eagles 78 (Sullivan 27, Walker 15, Smith/Hyatt/Bennett
75 (Moore 20, Harrison 14, Singleton 13)
13-14, HT: 37-38, 3Q: 55-60)
lifted the BBL Championship play-off title in a stunning final at the NIA,
coming from behind to beat Chester Jets 78-75 to underline their status
as British basketball's new pre-eminent club.
Their potent mix
of hard-working Americans and home-grown talent proved decisive and fittingly,
it was young British star Andrew Sullivan who rose highest to the occasion,
his game-best 27 points proving the decisive factor as he picked up the
Most Valuable Player award for his brilliant display.
Fittingly, it was
young British star Andrew Sullivan who rose highest to the occasion, his
game-best 27 points proving the decisive factor as he picked up the Most
Valuable Player award for his brilliant display.
Chester, the league
champions, trailed only twice in the first half and led 36-31 before the
Tyneside outfit cut the deficit to just one at the interval.
Propelled by Trey
Moore, the Jets soared six ahead before Fab Flournoy’s men stirred, Sullivan
and Charles Smith joining forces to spark an 8-0 run which put the BBL
Trophy winners up 74-70 with 90 seconds to go.
It was the Eagles’
biggest cushion but it was enough, Paul Smith’s side unable to force overtime
as Calvin Davis’ desperation attempt fell short.
“We’ve been working
towards this for three years,” said Flournoy, only the second player-coach
to secure this crown. “I try to lead by example and we work hard and do
the right things. This is a reward for all that.”