Cities collide and rivalries renewed for British Basketball Cup Finals

    Anticipation is building as a star-studded line up of talent heads to Birmingham’s Utilita Arena for the first showpiece event of the British Basketball calendar, the British Basketball Cup Finals. 

    Fans will be treated to two
    electrifying match ups and local pride is at stake as London Lions clash with
    Leicester Riders in both the men’s and women’s matches on Sunday January

    Former NBA stars Sam Dekker and Kostas
    Koufos, joined by fans favourite and GB international Ovie Soko will be hoping
    to clinch back the BBL Cup for the Lions, but they face up against a formidable
    Riders side stacked with international talent including Patrick Whelan, Mo
    Walker and Kimbal Mackenzie. 

    Coach Rob Paternostro’s side will be
    keen to remain the kings of the BBL Cup and retain their trophy, but come up
    against a formidable Lions side who head to Birmingham in relentless form both
    domestically and on the European stage, leaving no doubt this is a battle not
    to be missed! 

    The final sees a repeat of the fiercely
    contested play-off finals in May, where the Riders completed the quadruple with
    a late fourth quarter over the Lions. But the Lions will be back and out for
    revenge, with no love lost between the two sides, fireworks are guaranteed as
    these two meet again for the chance to secure both silverware and the bragging
    rights in the first finals of the season. 

    “We’re going to be ready to roll and hopefully win it.”@dekker looks ahead to next month’s #BBLCup Final after the @LondonLions booked their place in Birmingham with a win over Bristol in tonight’s semifinal action!#KnowOurName #BritishBasketball

    — British Basketball League (@BBLofficial) December 19, 2022

    Speaking on facing up to the Riders in
    the final, London Lions starman, Sam Dekker, said:

    “Leicester are playing really good
    basketball at the moment. We have a great rivalry with the Riders so I’m sure
    the energy will be crazy and they’ll be geared up to take us on. 

    “We’re really excited and proud of the
    way we performed in the semi-final against Bristol. Going to the cup final is a
    big deal! We’re looking to build the foundations of the Lions and we’re excited
    for the opportunity in this final – we’re going to be really to roll and we’re
    looking to win it.”

    What a Final we have in store for us in Birmingham! @RidersBball Head Coach Rob Paternostro looks ahead to next month’s showdown with @LondonLions post-game after his team’s semi-final DUB!#KnowOurName #BritishBasketball

    — British Basketball League (@BBLofficial) December 21, 2022

    Leicester Riders Head Coach, Rob
    Paternostro, said: 

    “We’re super excited, anytime you get
    to a final it’s awesome! This year will be special, we’ve got a good team
    waiting for us down there. I’m real proud of the guys to get to the finals,
    it’s tough to get there, so you have to enjoy it when you do. 

    “It’s been great playing against the
    Lions, I think the final last year at the 02 was awesome. But this is a totally
    different team they have this year. This team is something totally different,
    I’ve been impressed with the way they’ve played this year, they’ve got so many
    good players. It’ll be different for us in a way, we’ll be the underdog going
    into it and we haven’t had that in a long time.”

    The very best of the WBBL are on show
    in the women’s final as two sides packed with talent from the UK and further
    afield go head to head. The Lions will be looking to retain their crown in
    Birmingham but clash with a Riders side looking to spoil the London party in
    the ‘Second City’. 

    With both sides currently occupying the
    top two spots in the WBBL Championship and stars such as Kennedy Leonard,
    Mckenzie Johnston, Holly Winterburn and Emma Fee all set to feature, it will be
    a great showcase of the pinnacle of the women’s game. 

    It’s not just the on court action that
    will get fans’ pulses raising, as the BBL presents an award winning line-up of
    entertainment throughout the afternoon. With platinum award winning grime
    artist Not3s and award winning DJ Woody lined up to perform in

    Lukman Odunaike, more commonly known as
    Not3s takes to the court at half time of the
    men’s final, for an unmissable performance. The London born, platinum award
    winning artist has worked with some of the world’s biggest artists
    including AJ Tracey and Mabel, as being one of few artists in history to have
    multiple tracks in the UK’s top 40 at the same time. Not3s is most well known
    for his best selling hits Addison Lee, My Love and Alladin, fans can expect to
    be off their seats as he headlines the half-time show. 

    One of Mixmaster Mike’s (Beastie Boys)
    favourite DJs, described as ‘The best DJ in the World’ by Hudson Mohawke,
    labelled a genius by DJ Qbert. Two times World Champion, DJ Woody is one of the UK’s most influential
    turntablists in the UK. He’s set to raise the roof in Birmingham when he delivers
    an incredible audio visual routine during half time of the WBBL final followed
    by a DJ set during the dunk contest. DJ Woody has performed at gigs and events
    across the world to thousands of fans and is sure to play some of his very best
    tracks during the interval of the WBBL action.  

    The BBL dance crew will be on hand to
    entertain the crowd in Birmingham as they perform throughout the

    Last year’s finals day was one to remember, as a record of attendance of over 6,000 enjoyed the WBBL Cup Final, as the London Lions triumphed over the Newcastle Eagles, with over 10,000 in attendance to witness the Leicester Riders secure the bragging rights with victory over the Manchester Giants. 

    Tickets are selling fast, so act now to ensure you don’t miss out on what is set to be an incredible afternoon of action! Fans can secure their seats by visiting

    The post Cities collide and rivalries renewed for British Basketball Cup Finals appeared first on British Basketball League.

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