Bristol Flyers’ hunt for silverware continues as they fell to a narrow defeat against Worcester Wolves in the final of the BBL Cup.
Worcester’s recent signing Amir Williams proved too much for the Flyers in a truly dominant performance, with the 6ft 11 former Memphis Grizzlies player scoring 23 points and securing 13 rebounds at Arena Birmingham as Wolves ran out 67-59 winners.
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Gentrey Thomas, the Flyers’ top scorer with 13 points, got the Flyers off the mark and also scored the game’s first three-pointer.
But the better start was had by Worcester, who were being cheered on by the vast majority of the crowd as honorary midlanders for the day and once they established a lead they never let it slip.
Raphael Thomas-Edwards began slightly off his aim from the free throw line after a number of early fouls, but he soon got his eye in despite loud barracking from opposition fans.
The game burst into life with a brilliant block by Fred Thomas on what looked like a certain Worcester score, with Flyers trailing 12-16 at the end of the first quarter and going into half-time 25-34 down.
Arena Birmingham (the former National Indoor Arena) was the venue for the final, with a BBL record 9,244 fans watching the Flyers’ first appearance in a major final since joining the UK’s top basketball league in 2014.
Flyers head coach Andreas Kapoulas was wearing a suit to mark the occasion, with the jacket soon off to patrol the touchline in front of the Flyers faithful.
A Lewis Champion three-pointer with five minutes to go in the third quarter prompted a mini Bristol comeback, with a smart hoop from Marcus Delpeche bringing the score between the teams down to five points and a Gentrey Thomas foul closing the gap to four with only the final quarter remaining.
It briefly got down to a gap of just three with five minutes left on the clock, but Worcester’s defence held firm and it was the Wolves who took the win to lift the BBL Cup.
Main photo by JMP
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