Sheffield Sharks defeated the Leicester Riders 71-69 to claim the 2013 British Basketball League Trophy at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena on Saturday afternoon.
BJ Holmes led all scorers for Sheffield with 25 points including the two winning free throws with ten seconds remaining as Sharks completed an unlikely win despite a comeback from the current BBL Cup winners.
“We were the only ones who believed we could do this. Holmes told MVP Magazine. “Everyone else thought we were a long shot. But we came in here, executed, played good defence and came out with the win.”
Riders came into this game as favourites but were on the ropes early as Sheffield led 23-21 after the first ten minutes and an 8-0 run early in the second period gave the team from Yorkshire a 39-29 lead.
Leicester, not to be denied, answered with a 7-0 run themselves to cut the deficit to 39-36 at the half.
The Sharks looked good after three quarters, leading 61-53. Holmes had 21 at this point, including five triples.
Riders though made the last quarter uncomfortable for all Sharks fans.
Holmes though would be the Sharks’ hero as he hit the clutch buckets towards the end to send the Sheffield supporters into mass hysteria.
“If this doesn’t boost us, I don’t know what will,” said Holmes. “We beat the beat team in the league. But this is just one milestone and we want to go onto the play-offs and make some noise there.”
Jay Cousinard led Leicester with 21 points as their quest for a clean sweep came to an end as they turn their focus to the league, where they lead the way.