BallinEurope’s man in the UK, Sam Chadwick, reports on last week’s British Basketball League Cup along with the concomitant traditional festivities. Read on like Newcastle rolled on…
This past weekend saw one of the many highlights on the BBL Calendar, when the BBL Cup Final took place at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham. That game featured two of the league’s top teams when the first-place Newcastle Eagles (11-1) and the no. 5 Plymouth Raiders (6-2) went head to head.
The game started with Charles Smith dominating the game, going off for 21 points in the first quarter alone and on track to set a new BBL Cup points record (more on this later). Smith had 13 points within the first seven minutes and showed no signs of letting up. Charles and his 21 points outscored the Raiders 21-20 and the Eagles took a 15-point lead.
The second quarter saw the game even out with the Eagles outscoring the Raiders 28-26 and going into the half-time with a dominating 63-46 lead. Lehmon Colbert led the second quarter surge by the Raiders, scoring 12 points from the field, while Jeremy Bell added seven points from the field, including one three-point shot.
Half-time featured a performance by the BBL Cheerleaders and the Dunk Contest, which was won by Nathan Schall of the Milton Keynes Lions. (See photo above and videos below.)
The second half saw the Eagles again outscore the Raiders with a 31-28 advantage in the third quarter, and a combined 94-54 score line. For the Eagles, six unanswered points from beyond the three-point line helped them maintain their lead. For the Raiders, Anthony Rowe and Paul Williams both scored six points from the field while last year’s MVP was 0-of-2 from the field. Smith eventually tied the Cup Final record for points with 35 at the 79-58 mark and broke the record moments later.
The fourth quarter saw no real comeback from the Raiders with both Williams and Michael Ojo fouling out while the Raiders gave up a combined 23 fouls across the four quarters. The fourth saw the Eagles again outscore the Raiders, 21-20, while Smith chipped in his final few points, setting the BBL Cup final record at an outstanding 39 points; he also added six rebounds, two blocks and hit five from deep, going for 71% on three-point shooting while also managing 64% shooting from the field and 86% from the charity stripe.
Other major contributors for the Eagles included Paul Gause (24 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals); Andrew Bridge (16 points, four rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block); Joe Chapman (15 points, four rebounds, three assists and a steal); and Andrew Thomson (13 points, four rebounds and one assist).
For the Raiders, it was Colbert who contributed significantly with 25 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Jeremy Bell put up 23 points, four rebounds and one assist; he did however commit six turnovers. Rowe was the final Raiders player to score 20 points or more, finishing with 20 exactly along with eight rebounds and one assist.
Sam Chadwick is the co-head coach of the Solent Kestrels U14 basketball team, along with dividing the remainder of his time among an assistant quantity surveyor job, university studies and sportswriting. Chadwick is now a contributor at BBLfans.com, and you can follow him on Twitter at @chadwick9.