Basketball: Clean sweep in Eagles' clutches

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The Independent Online

The Newcastle Eagles have won the British Basketball League Championship, the BBL Trophy and the BBL Cup - as well asthe coach and player of the year awards - and they can clean up by adding the play-off title at Birmingham's National Indoor Arena this weekend.

The Eagles face the Guildford Heat, whose own season has been rather remarkable after they were reborn from the Thames Valley Tigers franchise after John Nike cut off financial support last summer.

The Eagles will not take victory for granted, and their coach, Fab Flournoy, said: "At the moment we think we're top of the mountain, but once those play-offs start your record goes out of the window."

The odds still favour Newcastle facing the Sheffield Sharks or the Scottish Rocks, who meet in today's other semi-final, in tomorrow's final.

Eagles fans will be wondering if this is their last chance to see the BBL's player of the year, Andrew Sullivan.

Sullivan's salary was topped up by Sport England this season to keep him in the Commonwealth Games programme.

"After this weekend, I've got some serious decisions to make," he said. "Ideally, I would love to play in England. But in terms of financial stability and supporting my family, I might have to seriously consider playing in Europe."

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