NewcastleEagles, who are the most successful team in British Basketball League (BBL) history, claimed aseventh league title in ten seasons, with a 107-97 victory over the ManchesterGiants.

Due to theNorth East side’s growing injuries, which also kept their player-coach FabulousFlournoy away from the court for the season, they ended up with only sixplayers on the night, but put up an excellent performance and moved out of thereach of second-placed Leicester Riders.

TheGiants were looking for a victory that would guarantee them a place in theplay-off, and after Stu Thompson opened the scoring for the hosts, the visitorstook a lead midway through the first quarter.

However, the Eagles were soon ontheir front foot and with a 32-21 lead at the end of the first 10.

Manchesterwere playing catch-up and had a short come back in the second quarter, by itwas 62-51 to Eagles going into the break.

Newcastleshowed their dominance in the third quarter, when they achieved 74-57, but thelead was reduced to 81-73 going into the final ten minutes.

TheEagles’ Thompson displayed a brilliant finishing performance with a pair offree throws to help Newcastle hit 100, but it was Davin Grimes who scored thelast basket to give the Eagles their league title. Charles Smith, who is the only Eagles playerwho pre-dates Flournoy and has been with the Eagles since 2000/2001 season,played the entire match and scored 27 points.

Thewin completes the treble for Newcastle, after they won the BBL Cup and Trophy. Theircoach Flournoy came to the court after the game to thank the players and the fans,before the trophy was lifted in front of a roaring crowd.

As for the Giants,they did pull some good work to end up with a 10 – point loss to the best teamin the country; they were demolished by the Eagles in the two earlier meetingsthis season and are currently eight placed. They will need two victories intheir last two games, against Sheffield Sharks and then at the home of theLondon Lions, to make certain of a play-off place.