Newcastle Eagles have of course won the BBL League Championship but there is still much to be decided. Further, I am hoping to be at the Amaechi Centre see the Division 2 Men’s Final between Leeds Carnegie and Team Northumbria.

I also hope to stick around to see City of Sheffield Hatters take on UWIC Archers in the Women’s Championship game.

Reading Rockets, on the verge of a clean sweep, will take on the home town Manchester Magic in the Men’s Championship game.

The Magic have come second in everything this season which has been dominated by the Rockets. This will be their last chance to win something.

In the BBL the Cheshire Jets and the Milton Keynes Lions are fighting for the final place in the Play-Offs.

The Lions lost last night and it is now out of their hands. The Jets with any kind of victory against Worthing Thunder will secure the 8th place and the Lions, last season’s BBL Cup winner, will lose out.

The clock rolls around to 5:00am and I am on the road heading to the BBC to present the Sunday Breakfast programme on BBC Radio Manchester. It is freezing despite the fact that yesterday was a fabulously sunny day in Manchester. Funnily enough, the weather forecasts suggest it is going to be another scorcher in Manchester today.

At the end of the show it is off to Sainsbury’s for my favourite breakfast of cinnamon and raisins bagels and diet coke.

Having feasted I am off now to the Amaechi Centre for Game 1 which will see Leeds Carnegie take on Team Northumbria. These guys have played each other 6 times this season and Northumbria, under Head Coach Greg Modzelewski, has failed on every occasion.

Greg is of course a legend of the British game having played in the BBL for a number of years. Oh those glorious days at Doncaster…I remember them well.

Presently, Greg can be found announcing at the home games of the high-flying Newcastle Eagles.

Personally I found this a very disappointing game as the winner was never in doubt. Leeds Carnegie could not get going and it was as if every one of their players decided to have an off day on the same day.

Having seen some of their games the season, including the titanic play-off game against the As of Birmingham I could really feel for head coach Matt Newby.

There were two outstanding performances among others for Team Northumbria. The first was from Modzelewski himself who simply shot the lights out. Since arriving in the UK Greg has consistently shot the ball well from beyond the arc but today he was on fire, going 6 for 12 in his 20 points. He also added 6 rebounds and 5 assists. WOW!

The other outstanding performer was Christopher Pearce who went 8 for 16 from the field and 7 for 7 from the free-throw line. He scored a game high and MVP winning 23 points.

Corey Diethorn also delivered for his head coach with 13 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists.

For Leeds, Fagbohun and Stockwell led the way with 16 and 24 respectively but on this occasion they simply did not get the required support from elsewhere on the floor.

So congratulations to Team Northumbria who won it 64-84 and finally got one over on the boys from Leeds.

Commiserations to Leeds Carnegie but congratulations to them also for another stunning season which has seen them gain promotion to Division 1. This will see visits to and from Reading Rockets, Manchester Magic, London Leopards and the rest.

Should make for interesting viewing.

And so to game 2 and, following the semi-finals the previous evening, this will see the City of Sheffield Hatters take on UWIC Archers. These have been, by far, the best two teams in the division finishing 1 and 2 in that order.

Unfortunately the Hatters were just too strong for Archers who were out shot and out fought on ever occasion. The Hatters took the first quarter 28-15 and from here, there was no way back for the Archers.

The game finished 81-48 to the Hatters who have now completed a clean sweep of all the trophies in the Women’s game.

Congratulations to Head Coach Vanessa Ellis who has carried on the good work with the Hatters started by pevious Head Coach Betty Codona.

The Sheffield Hatters continue to dominate the Women’s game in this country and wherever or whenever it is, seem able to take on all comers.

Game three saw Manchester magic take on Reading Rockets and once again a very one sided game with the Rockets running out comfortable winners by a score-line of 89-52.

Terrell Smith led the Rockets with 21 points while Brandon Kimborough led for Manchester with 18. Congratulations to Head Coach Dave Titmuss and his Reading Rockets on another amazing season.

So now I am back in front of my computer as news of the final regular season games begin to filter through and the bad news for the Lions is that the Jets have whupped the Thunder and have secured that final Play-Off place.

The Eagles have defeated the Heat to finish with a record of 28 and 5 to win the League Championship, and Everton have gone down to the Scottish Rocks on the road in Glasgow but still finish runners-up.

The Play-Offs will see the Eagles take on the Jets, the Tigers will be at home to the Scottish Rocks while the Riders, who have had a sensational season under Head Coach Rob Paternostro, will entertain the Sheffield Sharks.

The final Play-Off game of the 2008/09 BBL season will see Guildford Heat match up yet again with Plymouth Raiders.

All of this is just to decide who is going to make it to the BBL Championship Weekend at the NIA on the first weekend of May.

Why would you even contemplate not being there?

Later

Mike S


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