The first piece of silverware in the 2012/13 British Basketball League season is on offer at the NIA as Newcastle Eagles face Leicester Riders in the BBL Cup final, with live coverage on Sky Sports.
Eagles will be defending the Cup they won against Plymouth Raiders last season, a success that provided the springboard for the north east club to complete a clean sweep of all four BBL titles.
Basketball fans will be treated to four quarters of stunning three-pointers and spectacular slam dunks as the country’s two in-form teams going head-to-head in front of a big crowd at the Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena on Sunday, January 13.
Eagles and Riders are currently joint top of the BBL Championship table with 14 wins from their first 16 games, and have also reached the quarter-finals of the BBL Trophy.
The game is a repeat of the Play-off final last season which Eagles won 71-63 at the NIA, but it was Riders who drew first blood this season with a 75-63 BBL Championship success at Sport Central in October.
Eagles also won the BBL Championship series between the two sides 2-1 last season, and knocked the Riders out of the BBL Cup at the semi-final stage winning 71-63 at home following a rare tied game in the first leg.
The north east side hold a 63-35 lead in the all-time series and hold a 5-4 lead in the last ten games and a 15-4 lead in the last 20 game dating back to 2007.
Riders’ coach Rob Paternostro is aware of the size of the task facing his side if they are prevent Eagles taking a fifth straight piece of silverware.
Eagles’ player-coach Fab Flournoy aadmitted that his side were second best when the teams met earlier in the season, but expects to have a full roster available for the big game.
Newcastle have a 12-3 record in finals since Flournoy took over as player-coach in 2002 while Raiders have won two of their four title games in their 41-year history.
This showpiece contest is one of a host of games from the British Basketball League that Sky Sports will broadcast throughout the 2012/13 season, with the final of the BBL Trophy and Play-Offs also being shown live later this year.
In addition, Sky Sports will screen selected live NBA games as the world’s greatest basketball league returns to the broadcaster after a six-year absence, including exclusive coverage of the NBA London Live game between New York Knicks and Detroit Pistons at London’s O2 Arena on January 17.Sunday 13th January BBL Cup Final 2013 – Newcastle Eagles v Leicester Riders LIVE: 3.30pm-6.00pm – Sky Sports 3