BBL Trophy final: Newcastle Eagles 96-90 Leicester Riders

Newcastle Eagles players celebrate after winning the BBL Trophy
Newcastle Eagles players Charles Smith (left) and Andrew Thomson celebrate after winning the BBL Trophy

Newcastle Eagles produced a late surge to beat Leicester Riders 96-90 to win the BBL Trophy in Glasgow, securing their second silverware of the season.

In a thrilling game, Leicester lost an 88-85 lead in the last two-and-a-half-minutes as Eagles ran home to victory.

Scott Martin scored 20 points for Newcastle and Charles Smith and Rahmon Fletcher added 18 each, while Jamell Anderson hit 20 points for Leicester.

Smith's four three-pointers in the last quarter earned him the MVP award.

The title is Fab Flournoy's side's 20th piece of major silverware in the last 11 seasons and their sixth Trophy win. It leaves them halfway to a clean sweep of all four BBL trophies in a season.

"The MVP speaks for itself - Chuck (Smith) hit some unbelievable shots and he really resurrected us," said Martin, the leading candidate for the award before Smith's late heroics.

"It was a very exciting game - in the first half it was like no-one could get a stop, the second half was nothing but stops."

Flournoy, the Eagles' player-coach, was forced out of the game early in the fourth quarter with a suspected Achilles injury.

Both teams came out shooting in the first quarter, which produced 52 points with seven different players scoring three-pointers.

Leicester took the lead early in the second quarter as they converted two more, but a two on the buzzer from Jones sent the teams in 45-45 at half-time.

The Riders got away to a 68-60 lead in the third quarter, but needed an Anderson three on the buzzer to lead 73-71 with one quarter remaining.

Smith's three-pointer at the start of the fourth period was a taste of things to come; the Eagles veteran hit three more as the Eagles hunted down Leicester's slender 88-85 lead.

Losing coach Rob Paternostro said he was proud of his team despite their late capitulation.

"We're a young team and we're improving. Our best basketball is going to be played at the end of the season."

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