2015 BBL Play-off Final, 10 May 2015 – REACTION

Reaction from Fab Flournoy, Rahmon Fletcher, Charles Smith, Drew Sullivan and Vince Macaulay following Newcastle Eagles’ 96-84 victory against London Lions in the 2015 BBL Play-off Final at The O2 in London on Sunday.

Newcastle Eagles coach Fab Flournoy:

On the victory against London Lions:

“Coming into the game there was a lot of energy, especially for the London Lions in making it to the Play-off Final and we had had consistency throughout the course of the season, but some people may have felt that died out a little towards the end.

“I knew we were going to have a poor first quarter because of the injuries that we had and I knew that we were going to have to sustain in the first half because once we got our momentum going, the opportunity to make history was going to take care of itself and I think that’s what happened.”

BBL Play-off Final MVP Rahmon Fletcher:

On the victory against London Lions:

“At the end of the day we have veterans on our team who are very persistent so we stayed the course, took their first punch and got a punch of our own in in the third quarter.”

Newcastle Eagles captain Charles Smith:

On the victory against London Lions:

“We knew they were going to come out strong early on. We just held the course, stuck to what we do and abided by our scouting report that our coaches put together and in the end we were able to come out victorious.”

On the development of the sport in this country:

“I went from playing in front of 100 people to 15,000 tonight so it’s changed loads.

“It’s just getting the word out there. Tonight’s game was broadcast worldwide and as long as we can continue that the sport should grow.”

London Lions captain Drew Sullivan: 

On the defeat to Newcastle Eagles:

“I thought that for large parts of the game we played well but Newcastle are known for hitting you with one really big quarter, and that’s what they did in the third quarter, just at the time we were battling back.

“Newcastle have had a great season, I have a lot of respect for what they have done, I have been lucky enough to represent the club so I know how much hard work the guys do.”

On the performance and progress of London Lions this season:

“Consistency wins, in any sport. This is the second year the club has been at the Copper Box, there is not a core group of guys that have been at the club for many years, and you look at the Newcastle team and they’ve got Charles [Smith], Thommo [Andrew Thomson], Darius [Defoe] and the list goes on.

“When new guys come in like Rahmon [Fletcher], Fab [Flournoy] doesn’t have to do that much coaching because other guys can help get them in line in the system and the philosophy, which makes a massive difference when you are trying to chase silverware.

“When you come into a club like me and Zaire [Taylor] did, where there are a lot of guys who haven’t won championships and you are having to teach guys how to do, you are a little bit behind the eight-ball.”

On playing in front of a record 14,700 BBL crowd at The O2:

“For me it was great to play in London, in front of what was, by and large, a home crowd. The BBL have done a great job moving from venue to venue and to continue to pack them out, 14,000 people at a showcase event is pretty impressive.”

London Lions coach Vince Macaulay:

On the defeat to Newcastle Eagles:

“The 10-0 run at the end of the first quarter cost us in the end.

“We know Newcastle like to squeeze in that way, and we were aware that it would come at some point, it just came earlier than we expected.”