BBL Cup breakdown: Players’ predictions


We take a look at what various players around the BBL are saying about this Sunday’s prestigious BBL Cup Final at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham.

Who will prevail between Esh Group Eagles Newcastle and the Glasgow Rocks, in a game which will be played out in front of almost 9,000 fans and also live on BBLTV.

“From my experience, I can never bet against Fab and Sir Charles!” said Jamal Williams of Worcester Wolves, who won the BBL Trophy and BBL Play-Off Final last year and knows plenty about silverware.

Josh Wilcher has had a standout first few months in the BBL with Plymouth University Raiders and has come up against only one  of the respective playmakers for each of the two teams in the form of Rahmon Fletcher of the Eagles.

Although he has heard good things about JaJuan Smith of the Rocks.

“With the BBL Cup Final, I think that Newcastle will be the winners,” said Wilcher.

“They are a deep squad with class players all over the board.

“I am excited to see the point guard match-up between Fletcher and Smith as they are both top point guards in this league.”

One player who has his finger on the pulse of basketball in the North-East in particular is Durham Wildcats’ guard, Ralph Bucci – once linked with a move to the Eagles earlier in his career when with the Teesside Mohawks.

The veteran star is also going for his local rivals to pick up winners’ medals.

He said, “Newcastle is on really good run and playing with a lot of confidence.

“So, I think they would have to be the favourite”

David Aliu of Cheshire Phoenix is another experienced player who has seen plenty of showpiece BBL Finals over the years.

The forward is a little more cautious in his assessment – although was not quite willing to throw his weight behind the Rocks causing what looks to now being labelled as a surprise victory.

“The BBL Cup final is always tough one and I can’t really call it as the league is very close this season,” claimed Aliu.

“However, Newcastle have been on an unbelievable run though!”