The Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders ended a 12 year wait for silverware as they secured the BBL Cup in thrilling fashion as they defeated the Newcastle Eagles 80-85 at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham in front of a bumper 7,500 crowd.
Back-to-back baskets from Fab Flournoy gave the Eagles the lead at 80-79 with 1:05 remaining in the game. Zaire Taylor sank a huge three-pointer with 45 seconds left to give the Riders the lead at 80-82 and Jorge Calvo held his nerve to make one of his free-throws with 20 seconds left.
The Eagles had the chance to win the game, but both Joe Chapman and Damon Huffman missed three-pointers down the stretch and Calvo and Anthony Rowe made free-throws to give the Riders the thrilling victory to spark amazing scenes as the Riders celebrated their victory in front of the capacity crowd and Sky Sports cameras.
The MVP award was given to Jay Couisnard (198-F-88, college: UMKC) from the Riders for his team-high 17 points performance.
Earlier in the game, a tight opening to the game saw both sides trading baskets early on as they tried to establish themselves on the game. A pair of three-pointers from Andrew Sullivan saw the Riders take an early 9-12 lead, but the Eagles bagged six of the next eight points to overturn that quickly as they lead 15-14 with three minutes remaining in the opening period. Seven points from Jamell Anderson, including a bank three-pointer, gave the Riders a strong finish to the quarter as they ended the opening period 17-20 to the good.
In the second quarter, a Chapman three-pointer gave the Eagles a 24-22 lead, but it was shortlived as the Riders picked up their intensity at both ends of the floor and as a result, enjoyed a 18-5 burst to take the score out to 29-40 with 3:20 remaining in the first half. Huffman and Taylor traded three-pointers in the closing moments of the second quarter as the Riders headed into the locker room leading by nine points at 36-45 at the half.
In the second half, the Eagles came out of the locker rooms strongly after Flournoy's team-talk and an 8-2 burst bought them right back into the contest as they trimmed the deficit back to just four points at 46-50. The Riders were not to be outdone however as 11 points from Jay Couisnard, including three three-pointers, saw the Riders finish the third period strongly with a 15-4 burst to enjoy their biggest lead of the game at 14 points at 51-65 heading into the final stanza.
In the final period, Chapman and Anderson traded three-pointers early on as the Riders maintained their advantage and lead by 12 points at 64-76, but Charles Smith's basket sparked the Eagles into life in the closing stages as he bagged six points in a 14-2 burst to tie the game up at 78-78 with 1:25 remaining in the game to set up a thrilling finish to the Final.
MVP Couisnard led the scoring for the Riders with 17 points personal, but it was Joe Chapman who led all scorers in the game as he netted 29 points for the Eagles in the defeat.
At the end of the game, Couisnard was lost for words in his explanation of the victory.
"I have no words for it. It's fantastic! I just want to go and celebrate with the guys. We knew what we had to do in the final quarter to win the game and Coach Rob [Paternostro] set us up in practice all week. Could not feel better!"
Townsville Heat adds Anderson to their roster, ex Cheshire P. - 1 day ago
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Townsville Heat (QBL) added to their roster 27-year old British forward Jamell Anderson (200-90). He just played at Cheshire Phoenix in British BBL league. In 33 games he recorded 10.7ppg, 5.0rpg, 2.5apg and 1.9spg this season. The last season Anderson played at Leicester Riders (also in BBL) where in 34 games he averaged 6.6ppg, 3.2rpg and 1.5apg. He helped them to win the regular season and make it to the final. They also played in the Cup final. A very spectacular season in his career... [read more]
Townsville Heat (QBL) added to their roster 27-year old British forward Jamell Anderson (200-90). He just played at Cheshire Phoenix in British BBL league. In 33 games he recorded 10.7ppg, 5.0rpg, 2.5apg and 1.9spg this season. The last season Anderson played at Leicester Riders (also in BBL) where in 34 games he averaged 6.6ppg, 3.2rpg and 1.5apg. He helped them to win the regular season and make it to the final. They also played in the Cup final. A very spectacular season in his career as he was voted to Eurobasket.com British BBL All-Defensive Team. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others Anderson's team won British BBL Cup for two years in a row (2013 and 2014). He represented United Kingdom at the 3x3 World Championships in Greece five years ago. Anderson has played also professionally for other British teams like Nottingham Tribe and Essex Pirates.
It's our penultimate line-up of 2016-17 and while a trio took their last opportunity to shine as their respective seasons came to an end, two of our starters will be hoping to re-appear as they head into the Play-Offs! Mike DiNunno (Cheshire Phoenix) As the curtain fell on an eventful season at Phoenix, the playmaker signed off his participation in spectacular style with a typically influential contribution. Di Nunno lit it up at Cheshire Oaks Arena against Leeds Force by harvesting a ma... [read more]
It's our penultimate line-up of 2016-17 and while a trio took their last opportunity to shine as their respective seasons came to an end, two of our starters will be hoping to re-appear as they head into the Play-Offs!
Mike DiNunno (Cheshire Phoenix) As the curtain fell on an eventful season at Phoenix, the playmaker signed off his participation in spectacular style with a typically influential contribution. Di Nunno lit it up at Cheshire Oaks Arena against Leeds Force by harvesting a massive 36 points in just 22 minutes, after sinking a sizzling eight scores from beyond the three-point line. He also had three rebounds, three assists and not a single turnover during his time on court.
Callum Jones (193-G-85, college: Pace) (Manchester Giants) They may have finished propping up the table, but there was at least a smile of sorts heading into the summer for Giants as they ended their participation with an exciting home win against Plymouth Raiders. That was largely down to a magnificent effort from Jones, as he led his team to victory with a quite brilliant line. The guard finished with a majestic double-double of 26 points and 16 rebounds, while adding seven assists for good measure.
Earl Brown (Cheshire Phoenix) Finishing the season with a flourish and arguably the most consistent performer throughout a campaign of changes for Phoenix, Brown was in scintillating form against Leeds. While his team-mate DiNunno excelled in the backcourt, the forward scythed down Force by registering a huge double-double. He did the business in the paint with an astonishing 84% from the field for 28 points and also added 14 boards and five steals.
Leslee Smith (Bristol Flyers) Despite their worrying start to the season, Flyers find themselves in the Play-Offs after a weekend win double which catapulted them into seventh place. It was imperative Flyers got off to a positive start in their double-header and Smith brought the noise in a big way against Manchester. He was sensational and very much the difference-maker in a hard-fought victory against Giants with a monumental 19-point and 21-rebound double-double to delight the locals.
Tony Wroblicky (DBL Sharks Sheffield) The Sharks are now looking to defend the BBL Play-Off title they famously won at The 02 in London last May and if they manage to do it, you can expect Wroblicky to have a big hand in it. He was on fire for Sharks as they ended Worcester's record winning streak by beating them on the road and in front of the BBC Sport cameras. He weighed in with an outstanding double-double of 25 points and 13 rebounds, also not spilling the ball once in 30 minutes on the hardwood.
Off the Bench - Rashad Hassan (London Lions), Kieron Achara (Glasgow Rocks), Jermaine Sanders (Leeds Force), Rahmon Fletcher (Esh Group Eagles Newcastle), Hameed Ali (Bristol Flyers), Chaz Rollins (Surrey Scorchers), Rob Marsden (Leeds Force).
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