BBL Play-Off final: Newcastle Eagles v London Lions

By Rob DugdaleBBC Sport at the O2 Arena
Newcastle Eagles
Injured player-coach Fab Flournoy (L) and forward Charles Smith collected the trophy to complete the set for the season

Newcastle Eagles completed a clean sweep of all four BBL trophies this season when they beat London Lions 96-84 to win the BBL play-off title.

Charles Smith hit 24 points for Newcastle and Rahmon Fletcher, the game's best player, added 23.

Five great shots from BBL final

Great Britain captain Drew Sullivan led London's scoring with 27 points and Makal Stibbins added 17.

The Eagles had already won the BBL Championship, the BBL Cup and the BBL Trophy.

This was the Eagles' third clean sweep in the last 10 seasons after their 2006 and 2012 lockouts of the BBL trophies.

It was achieved with their player-coach, Fab Flournoy, confined to the sidelines with his foot still in a surgical boot after rupturing his Achilles tendon in March's Trophy win over Leicester.

Both teams seemed to be inspired by the 14,700 crowd they were playing in front of and London made the better start, hitting five threes in a 24-14 lead.

Sullivan, the Most Valuable Player (MVP) the only other time a BBL final had been held at the O2, seemed destined to replicate his performance.

Newcastle introduced Drew Lasker and his five points in a row sparked a recovery that levelled the scores at 24-24 at the end of the first period.

In the second period Lasker continued his influential display and Smith, recently voted the season's MVP by both players and press, hit nine points and appeared ready to take over the game.

Newcastle Eagles
The Eagles have now won all four BBL titles this season

Ahead by a score of 49-39 at half-time, Lions needed their shots to start dropping to stay in the final. But 13 of the first 18 points in the second half were Newcastle's, giving them an 18-point lead.

Although the Lions brought the deficit back to 10 points, Fletcher and forward Darius Defoe, who finished with 18 points, re-established control with a six-point burst for the favourites as they moved to their fourth title of the season.

Newcastle's Rahmon Fletcher, the final's Most Valuable Player:

"I never come out and score from the jump, I'm going to score when we need to, make an assist when we need one or play some defence when we need to.

"If you'd been inside my head - everything was moving at a thousand miles an hour. It was a great atmosphere - those 14.000 people sounded like a million out there.

"Winning all four trophies is hard - I can feel all four of those trophies in my legs right now. But it's history."

Newcastle Eagles coach Fab Flournoy:

"This team is the best team I've ever had - it's probably not the most talented team I've ever had, the 2012 team was better in terms of talent.

"But this team is the best in terms of the acceptance of what we are and what we can do and how to play.

"This one's more like a brotherhood."

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