BBL Cup Semi-Final, second leg
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 100 (30, 65, 84)(Martin 20, Smith 20, Thomson 17)
Cheshire Phoenix 96 (20, 40, 61)(Rochford 30, Ellis 13, Williams 13)
Eagles win 213-181 on aggregate
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle cruised into a fifth consecutive BBL Cup Final with a 100-96 victory against Cheshire Phoenix in their Semi-Final second leg at Sport Central on Friday.
The holders held a 28-point aggregate advantage after a dominant first leg performance and led by as many as 29 points in the second quarter of the return before coasting to a 213-181 aggregate success.
Eagles will face Leicester Riders in the showpiece finale at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena on Sunday 17 January in a re-run of the 2013 and 2014 finals.
Three quick-fire three pointers late in the first half capped a 35-20 period as Fab Flournoy’s men increased their overall advantage to 53 points with 20 minutes remaining.
There was no way back into the overall contest for John Lavery’s side, but they stuck to their task and, to their credit, closed the gap on the night thanks to 30 points and 14 rebounds from Kinu Rochford.
Such a positive close should breed confidence ahead of Sunday’s BBL Championship clash with Bristol Flyers, but this night was all about Eagles.
The unbeaten league leaders’ outstanding offensive balance was on show once more as Scott Martin and Charles Smith scored 20 points while Andy Thomson and Rahmon Fletcher each had 17.