BBL Trophy: Leicester Riders to play Newcastle in final

Tyler Bernardini
Leicester Riders guard Tyler Bernardini was a four-year starter at the University of Pennsylvania, and has also had a spell with Serie A side Cantu

Leicester Riders will play Championship leaders Newcastle Eagles in the BBL Trophy final after victory over London Lions in the semi-final second leg.

Leicester went into Sunday's return fixture with a 17-point advantage following their first-leg home win.

Riders' Tyler Bernardini top-scored with 24 points to help book their place in the decider on 22 March at Glasgow's Emirates Arena.

Newcastle eased past Plymouth Raiders with a 52-point aggregate win.

Eagles' victory earlier this month keeps their hopes of winning all four pieces of BBL silverware alive.

Riders coach Rob Paternosto was pleased with his side's focus in the second-leg after taking control of the tie at home.

"With a 17-point lead, psychologically, things can go a couple of ways," he said. "But at no time did I see any complacency.

"From the moment we stepped on the floor, our guys were ready to roll. The first half was important and Tyler Bernardini's shooting was big for us.

"To go in at half-time with the lead - and the aggregate lead as well - put us in a good position."

BBL Trophy Results
Sunday, 8 March
London Lions 81-91 Leicester Riders (144-171 agg)

It was another good week in the Championship for leaders Newcastle, who maintained their four-point advantage at the top of the table with a comfortable win against Leeds Force on Friday.

Second-placed Worcester Wolves almost suffered an upset at the hands of strugglers Plymouth, but held on for an 86-85 home win.

Cheshire Phoenix then inflicted a second defeat in two days on the Raiders, while Sheffield Sharks beat Bristol Flyers to move above Manchester Giants into the final play-off spot.

In the WBBL, Jessica Jenkins scored 29 points as Cardiff Met Archers fought back to take a 68-60 victory against Sevenoaks Suns.

BBL Championship Results
Friday, 6 March
Leeds Force 68-94 Newcastle Eagles
Worcester Wolves 86-85 Plymouth Raiders
Saturday, 7 March
Bristol Flyers 70-79 Sheffield Sharks
Sunday, 8 March
Cheshire Phoenix 102-84 Plymouth Raiders

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