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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 WBBL/BBL 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 6000 plus enjoyed two well contested encounters, as the London Lions triumphed over the Newcastle Eagles in the WBBL final, before the Leicester Riders secured 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