BBL Cup Final – the player predictions

Posted on BBL Media


It’s the BBL Cup Final on Sunday and ahead of the clash between Esh Group Eagles Newcastle and Leicester Riders, we asked BBL players for their thoughts on the big game which is set to be played out in front of almost 10,000 fans.

We started with Tayo . of Surrey Scorchers who played in the 2015 edition of the Final with Glasgow.

“Man, I think this year is a tough one to be honest,” said the high-flying forward.

“I think guys like Jamell Anderson and Neil Watson are really going to put their footprint on the Final, but I am going to have to go with the Eagles.

“Their current form can't be overlooked and it is the strongest run I've seen in my time in the BBL.

“Ramon Fletcher, Joe Chapman, and Drew Lasker will all have big games in my opinion.”

Another player who lined-up against the Eagles in the 2015 BBL Cup Final is Kieron Achara and the Great Britain favourite is preferring to focus on what will determine the outcome – rather than who.

“It's going to be a great game,” said the centre.

“We have two extremely deep squads who are both capable of winning and I believe the game will be decided on who controls the rebounding battle.”

Jay Couisnard knows what it is like to find success with Riders and the current Worcester Wolves man is ready to see another intense battle between the teams.

“I think it'll be a great game,” he insisted.

“From recent years, every time Leicester and Newcastle meet-up in a Final it's a classic.

“It's the first time the two teams have met all season, so it'll be a good coaching battle as well.

“Both coaches will have to make some in-game adjustments and that'll be great to see.

“I think for Leicester, it'll be important to see how Conner Washington and Jamell Anderson play. They've been to the Cup Final before and made huge contributions to Leicester's silverware in those games.

“We know what the likes of Drew Sullivan will do and I think the Americans will be hyped and play great also.

“For Newcastle it always starts with Charles Smith - once he's on a roll, it's hard to defend their offence and it's not too bad to have Joe Chapman and Scott Martin on the wings as counterparts!”

Finally, long-serving Sheffield Sharks’ forward Mike Tuck has held the BBL Cup aloft with the Yorkshire club more than once and he is also relishing the match-up – even if he wishes he was out on the floor with the Sharks at the Barclaycard Arena.

He stated, “At this point it's really hard to say who is going to win the 2016 BBL Cup on Sunday.

“It's one of those bitter-sweet things where I'm sure it's going to be a great event/day, but I still wish we had been able to advance to get there.

“Both teams are stacked with talent and have perfect or near perfect records.

“This is the first time they are meeting this season and with all the build-up to this game, it couldn't be on a better stage.

“I'm looking forward to seeing who comes out on top,” added Tuck.

If you can’t make it to Birmingham, you can watch the Final for free via and at

Posted in Analysis & Opinion, Esh Group Eagles Newcastle, Fading Feature, Leicester Riders, Match Previews