Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Power, Poise and Precision See Eagles Lift Trophy

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Power, Poise and Precision See Eagles Lift Trophy

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Douglas

Newcastle Eagles 115 Plymouth Raiders 94 WHEN Charles Smith was pondering his retirement back home in Delaware over the summer, it was with days like this in mind that he opted to have one last crack at the BBL big time.

Newcastle Eagles snatched the first silverware of the season by thrashing Plymouth Raiders in an entertaining BBL Cup final yesterday afternoon, but that felt like a footnote to Smith's remarkable personal performance.

With a display that coach Fab Flournoy described as the best he'd ever seen, 'Prince' Charles racked up 39 points - breaking the BBL Cup final scoring record and scooping the coveted MVP award along the way.

His first quarter display in particular was as impressive as anything seen on this stage, Smith resembling a one man tornado that blew apart Plymouth's challenge almost single-handedly. It was as if the 35-year-old veteran was on a personal mission to right the wrong of never having lifted this particular piece of silverware. He was on the Eagles roster that completed a clean sweep of the BBL trophies back in 2006 but hadn't signed in time to play in the Cup final that year. He can proudly add a Cup winners' medal to the collection now. With a performance of precision, power and poise he drove Newcastle on from the first buzzer as they buried their Birmingham nightmares and ensured there will be no repeat of last season's barren campaign. Smith is not a noted blocker but finished with five blocks and six rebounds on a day of personal triumph. It was an even more impressive performance considering he played half of the game with only one contact lens in.

During an electric first 10 minutes, Smith drained a trio of crucial 'threes' in the first quarter and that set the tone for a win that will be talked about as one of the greatest in the club's history. …

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