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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
29th. 

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. 

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.”

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
Birmingham. 

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
afternoon. 

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 https://www.theticketfactory.com/tickets/events/bbl-cup-final/



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