Despite a 19-game winning streak, Newcastle Eagles coach Fabulous Flournoy is aware that Sunday’s BBL Cup Final is a one-off game and the run does not come into play where as Glasgow Rocks’ Kieron Achara believes that for his side to win, they have to play physical.
Newcastle start the game as heavy favourites, but Flournoy is wary of that label and admits that despite not tasting defeat since late September, a one-off game and a bad showing could mean back-to-back runners-up medals.
“We are playing great basketball, and we are playing how I want our team to play,” Flournoy said. “But Sunday’s Cup Final is a different environment. It’s a one-off contest against a dangerous Glasgow outfit that can beat anyone on any given day, so we need to prepare methodically and be ready for what they can give us.”
“It is tough playing our main rivals but you got to look past that,” Eagles big man Darius Defoe stated as he is now fully recovered from a flu virus that restricted his playing time last week.
“We’re playing for silverware at the end of the day. We’re trying to win it, they’re trying to win it. We got to make sure we finish on top.”
After a mini finals hiatus, Glasgow will be appearing in their second final in two seasons having come up just short in last year’s Trophy Final to Worcester Wolves. The squad is arguably much stronger since that day and Great Britain international Achara wants to prove that the Rocks can compete with the top four in the league.
“To come away with the BBL Cup on Sunday would be a huge achievement for this club. It’s come a long way and they’re building it up here. It’s one of the reasons that I came back because [Glasgow] have become so professional over the last few years. Moving to the Emirates Arena, playing in great facilities, great, loyal fans who are at every game.
“I think it would mean a lot to show that we are really there to compete with the top four, five teams in this league.
“To get our name on the Cup against Newcastle we have to be very, very physical and disaplined. Newcastle are a very deep team and that’s their strength, we all talk about key players but their biggest key is their depth.”
Sportsbeat’s Will Piper contributed to the video reports in this article.