Leicester Riders win BBL crown in front of record crowd

Leicester Riders In front of a record 15,000 basketball fans who trooped to the O2 Arena, the Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders capped off an impressive 2016-17 season on Sunday after blowing away the New Castle Eagles Esh Group 84-63 in the finals. The finished as the best team of the regular season with their 27-6 record. The Eagles came in second with their 23-10 slate. This marks the third BBL championship for the Riders (2001, 2013).

The clash between the British Basketball League’s top two teams did not wind up with an epic battle. It was all Leicester, all the way. A 10-0 run in the first quarter sparked the fire for the Riders and they zoomed off to an easy win from there.

Pierre Hampton set the tone of the game for the Riders with his 14-14 double-double performance. Andrew Thompson wound up with a game-best 18 points for Leicester which he put up in just 18 minutes on the floor.

Newcastle shot poorly from the field, hitting just 20-of-51 shots from two-point range. They didn’t fare better from beyond the arc, just making 6-of-25 from that distance. Rahmon Fletcher was the top scorer for the Eagles, finishing the game with 16 points.

The Riders sealed up a treble, bagging the regular season win as well as the British BBL trophy.

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