- National Teams
Leicester Riders completed the treble after beating Newcastle Eagles, 68-57, in the BBL Playoff Final in front of a sold-out Wembley Arena on Sunday afternoon.
The BBL Playoff title is added to their BBL Cup and Championship trophies from earlier in the season, and is a measure of revenge for the Riders, beating the same team that defeated them in last year’s final.
Leicester and Great Britain star Drew Sullivan was named MVP as he finished with a game-high 24 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals.
For Riders head coach Rob Paternostro, it was a perfect end to the season.
“This has been a dream season,” said Paternostro, when talking to the Leicester Mercury. “If you can win one trophy in this league it’s great. I think a lot of times people can get carried away. This is a tough, tough league.
“Of course, any trophies are good, we don’t look at it that way. We don’t say we are going to win trophies, we say just know we are going to play as hard as we can and we are going to compete for the whole 40 minutes.
“That is what I said to the guys in the locker room today – no matter what happens, the ups and downs throughout the game, just keep going. I thought we dominated the game from start to finish.”
Jamell Anderson also had a big game, his second impressive performance in a final event this year, as he finished with 13 points and 6 rebounds on 6/7 shooting.
The game was a defensive battle, as Riders held Eagles to just 57 points – the lowest score ever posted in a BBL Play-off final, breaking the record of 62 points scored by Riders in their loss to the Eagles in last season’s final. The Riders’ 68 points also broke the record for the fewest points scored by a winner, breaking a record that the Eagles had tied in last season’s final with 71 points.
Eagles were led by 13 points from Darius Defoe and 12-a-piece from Kareem Maddox and Charles Smith.
Did you make it to Wembley? Thoughts?
Image Credit: Sports Photographer