BBL: Newcastle Eagles win playoff title
Newcastle Eagles' assistant coach Dave Forester paid tribute to coach Fabulous Flournoy after the north east side completed a clean sweep with a 71-62 victory against Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders in the Playoff Final.
Eagles' veteran Charles Smith collected the MVP award, but there was little doubt about the influence Flournoy had on the game as he locked down Cameron Rundles, and Forester was full of praise for the 38-year-old:
"It's a massive accomplishment to have achieved what we has," he said. "The teams in the league are extremely competitive and we have had few, if any blow-out wins. Most of the other teams actually felt that they matched up well with us.
"That we were successful is testament to a great group of players and a fantastic leader in Fab. When we needed him to score at Cheshire he stepped up, when we needed him to play defence on Cameron Rundles he did that, when we needed a big rebound invariably he grabbed it. At 6'4" and primarily playing the point guard position he still came up with 13 rebounds in the final, more than anyone else on the court.
"Sometimes I think his effect on the game is overlooked by people who just look at him as a coach who is a hard worker and ultra-demanding of his players. But he never asks them to do anything that he can't or won't do himself. The example he sets to others as a player is intoxicating."
Flournoy and the Eagles have now won 17 trophies in the last eight seasons, and Saturday's win at the NIA saw the Eagles complete the fifth clean sweep of the four pieces of BBL silverware. They were the last team to do it, in 2006, while Cheshire Jets did it in 2002 and Kingston Kings achieved the feat in 1990 and 1992, missing out on a hat-trick in 1991 when the Eagles franchise - then based in Sunderland - won the Cup.