Leicester Riders completed their season of domestic basketball dominance, winning the BBL Playoff Championship behind another MVP performance from the best player in the league, Londoner Drew Sullivan.
The Riders defeated the Newcastle Eagles in 68-57 in an inspired performance in front of an 8,000 capacity crowd at London’s Wembley Arena. Sullivan led the way with 24 points, but was well supported by MM favourite, Jamell Anderson, who burnt the Eagles for 13 points shooting an ultra-efficient 86% from the floor.
Anderson’s relentless energy on the offensive glass and defensive end characterised the biggest difference between the two squads. The Eagles looked tired with little left in ‘the tank’ while the Riders looked athletic, hungry and ready for more, behind the ‘red army’ of Sullivan, Anderson, Jay Cousinard, Zaire Taylor and Anthony Rowe. This point was driven home behind a high-flying put-back slam from Anderson over the outstretched arms of 3 helpless Eagles and then again with a Drew Sullivan full-court coast to coast dismantling of the entire Eagles team, finished off with an emphatic slam that seemed to let the whole arena know, this was only going to end one way.
For the Eagles, Darius Defoe worked hard to put up a fight, but his 13 points were not enough to match a Rider squad who would not be denied.
BBL veteran Yorick Williams gave the Riders an invaluable spark off the bench with 7 timely points on 75% shooting, but it was ultimately Sullivan who was the star of the show, just like he has been all season, leading his team to a well deserved victory.