The Newcastle Eagles secured their BBL Cup Final berth thanks to a hard-fought 69-75 victory over the SAMG Verve Scottish Rocks at the K2 Arena in Crawley.
The Rocks started the game the stronger team and leapt out to an early 10-3 lead, but the Eagles responded with a 7-3 run of their own to get back to within a point at 13-12. The Eagles then stepped up their intensity at both ends of the floor, and a 19-4 run across the first-quarter break took the score out to 21-33.
The Rocks closed the gap to eight points at the half after netting six of the last eight points of the second quarter to trail 32-40 going into the locker rooms.
The second half saw the Rocks again start strongly, and a 15-4 run took them into a three-point lead at 50-47 midway through the third period. The Eagles immediately responded netting twelve of the last sixteen points of the quarter to lead 56-59 going into the final stanza.
In the final quarter, the Eagles started with an 8-4 run to lead 60-67, but five points from Julius Joseph bought the Rocks back to within two points at 65-67. Both teams traded baskets throughout the closing stages, but it was the Eagles who remained strong, and sealed their place in the Final from the foul-line.
Charles Smith led all scorers in the game with 20 points for the Eagles, while Maurice Hampton led the Rocks scoring with 15.
Venue: K2 Arena
Competition:- BBL Cup, Semi-Finals
Quarterscores:- 19-20, 32-40, 56-59
Final result:- 69-75
Officials: Ian Pollard, Keith Williams, Bob Bhania
Rocks:Hampton 16, Wohlers 15, Yanders 14
Eagles: Smith 20, Bridge/Stewart 16