CHESHIRE Phoenix claimed a sixth British Basketball League Trophy and a second in three seasons at Birmingham’s Utilita Arena on Sunday (January 28).

The Nix defeated the London Lions with an incredible performance in front of a packed out venue, coming from behind at half-time to score 53 second half points and emerge 98-82 winners.

The frenetic final also saw the Nix avenge their buzzer beater heartbreak from 2023.

Unbeaten throughout the entire tournament, Cheshire have also been labelled the surprise package in the League and showed their quality to overcome their top of the table opponents.

LaQuincy Rideau scored a dramatic late basket to book Nix’s place in the Final and he once again lit up the court with an MVP performance that included leading the scoring with 28 points, nine rebounds and three assists. Elsewhere Aaron Rai also led the Nix charge with 26 points of his own to back-up his MVP performance in yesterday’s Semi-Final.

Chester and District Standard: Phoenix have been dubbed the 'surprise package' in the league this season.Phoenix have been dubbed the 'surprise package' in the league this season. (Image: British Basketball League.)

Cheshire Phoenix Head Coach Ben Thomas said: Credit to the League as an organisation for putting on such a great weekend. Credit to Leicester yesterday for pushing us right to the very end and making for some very good TV and credit again to the London Lions. They made us work for it today and I’m just so proud of our guys. We set out with a game plan in mind and we executed it, and we left it all out there and we’re champions because of it.

“It’s hard hearing ‘David Sloan for three every game’, so we definitely had that extra bit of fire in our bellies about it. But since that loss, this club has been outperforming, probably where most people would put us, and this competition is just another example of that.”

Cheshire Phoenix Captain Maceo Jack said:

Coach had a great game plan and an idea in mind of how we’re supposed to play and how we can beat them. I think we all did a great job with following what they had for us. Once we got on the court, guys were making extra effort, plays, rebounding, defence, and shots fell when they needed to. 

“I think it was a combination of all those things built together and then it ended up with us bringing home the Trophy, so it was a great experience.”

MVP and Phoenix star, LaQuincy Rideau said:

We came in as a team and knew we had to play hard from the jump. We didn’t fold or get mad at each other. We just stayed together and finished out the game strong.”

British Basketball League CEO Aaron Radin said:

Birmingham is at the heart of British basketball and has been the scene of some incredible moments. It once again delivered with some great action across the weekend. The city has been home to Finals for over ten years and had three franchises in our history, the passion for basketball here is infectious. That was shown by the fans inside the arena who generated an electric atmosphere all weekend long.

“London Lions and Cheshire Phoenix put on an amazing show for the fans in the arena and those watching across the world. Phoenix were phenomenal and congratulations to their entire organisation on taking home the Trophy. To go unbeaten throughout the competition is an incredible achievement. The Final was an outstanding way to round off a memorable weekend of British basketball.”