BBL Cup Final

Bristol Flyers 59-67 Worcester Wolves (12-16, 25-34, 43-47)
(Flyers – G. Thomas 13, Thomas-Edwards 12, F. Thomas 10; Wolves – A. Williams 23, Hughes 12, Edwards 11)

Worcester Wolves have lifted the BBL Cup for the first time in their history, after beating Bristol Flyers 67-59 in Sunday’s final in front of a record 9,300 fans at Arena Birmingham and live on BBC Sport.

Amir Williams was named MVP after dominating the paint at both ends. The 6’11” former Memphis Grizzlies NBA Summer League centre posted 23 points on 73% shooting, completing a double-double with 13 rebounds and adding five big blocks.

There was sure to be a new name on the Cup for the first time in 11 years, with Wolves seeking to make-up for defeat in the final two years ago, and Flyers competing in their first BBL showpiece game.

And it was Matt Newby’s Wolves that led from tip-to-buzzer as Amir Williams scored eight first quarter points and grabbed four of his boards in the opening ten minutes, helping Wolves to an early 16-10 edge.

The lead peaked at 14 three minutes into the second half, following a fearsome defensive display, as Williams scored his team’s first seven points of the third period to make the score 41-27, capping a 14-4 run across the break; and that gave them enough to see off a late Bristol comeback.

Flyers got back to within one shot heading into the final three minutes, but Birmingham native guard Kofi Josephs scored the key basket to keep them at arm’s length, and added a pair of late free-throws to seal it.

On raising his first piece of BBL silverware, Worcester Coach Matt Newby said, “This is big for the organisation, and for me personally, but a huge one for the players. They’re a young group, the youngest in the BBL this year, and it’s a big statement.”

Amir Williams added, “I knew if I came in here and trusted the coach’s game plan, played my game and as hard as I can then we can accomplish anything. Today was the first step, but we want more than this, a lot more.”

The big man was supported by 12 points from Mark Hughes and 11 from Cortez Edwards, while captain Maarten Bouwknecht contributed seven assists.