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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 April 2007, 19:46 GMT 20:46 UK
Eagles beat Rocks for third title
By Rob Dugdale
BBC Sport in Newcastle

Fab Flournoy - (Photo by Mansoor Ahmed)
Newcastle's Fab Flournoy with the trophy
Newcastle Eagles won the BBL Play-offs title for a third successive year with a 95-82 win over Scottish Rocks.

Olu Babalola hit four three-pointers in his 23 points and Tony Dorsey added 18 points for the Eagles.

Rob Yanders had a game-high 26 points to lead the Rocks, who had an early 12-4 lead before Newcastle took over the game and pulled away to victory.

The win means Newcastle have retained one of the four titles they won in last season's clean sweep.

For the Rocks, it was the heartbreak of having lost the play-offs final two years in a row.

Although they recovered to lead briefly in the second quarter, they were always struggling to stay in touch with the Eagles.

Maurice Hampton and Sterling Davis had 16 points each, but both were hampered by foul trouble.

The Eagles had coach and mentor Fab Flournoy in foul trouble from the first quarter, but he had plenty of support.

Even when sharpshooter Jeremy Hyatt hobbled out with a calf muscle in the first play of the second half, the Eagles never broke stride.

Shawan Robinson and Andrew Bridge hit three-pointers to give Newcastle a 70-61 lead after three quarters.

And with Dorsey using his experience to seal the game from the foul line, the Eagles' victory was never really in doubt.

Bridge finished with 17 points and Robinson had 16 in a win that was saluted by Flournoy.

"I'm immensely proud of my players," he said.

"It's been a long, hard season, but this is reward for all their hard work. Play-off basketball is different to the rest of the season and you have to show real intensity to win it, that's what we did."

Babalola deservedly won the most valuable player award - although his performance came as a surprise to him.

"I'm not really a three-point shooter, but I always shoot threes," said the 6ft 6in England forward.

"The first two I hit I was wide open and that gave me the confidence to shoot the others.

"We'd heard the Rocks played well to beat Guildford and that gave us the impetus to play hard against them."

Eagles and Rocks into BBL final
28 Apr 07 |  Basketball


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