Rocks sign Amer­i­can for­ward Stephens from Luzern

The Herald - Herald Sport - - UPDATE - MARK WOODS

GLAS­GOW ROCKS have beaten the BBL trans­fer dead­line by sign­ing Amer­i­can for­ward An­dre Stephens un­til the end of the sea­son.

The 28-year-old joins from Swiss club Luzern, where he av­er­aged 12 points and seven re­bounds per game.

And Stephens, who has also played in Aus­tria, Fin­land and Uruguay, will plug the gap left by the de­parted Mar­cus Ware as the Rocks gear up for the play­offs. “It’s never easy find­ing good qual­ity play­ers out there at this point in the sea­son,” coach Ster­ling Davis said.

“He is com­ing off a spell in Switzer­land, mean­ing he will be in game shape and ready to make an in­stant con­tri­bu­tion. He is very ef­fec­tive around the bas­ket and re­bound­ing the ball. I think he will com­ple­ment our in­side guys very well, so I’m look­ing for­ward to his ar­rival.”

Mean­while Andy Thom­son in­sists chas­ing a se­cond straight clean sweep won’t be on New­cas­tle Ea­gles’ minds to­day when they face Le­ices­ter Rid­ers in the BBL Tro­phy fi­nal at the Emi­rates Arena.

The show­piece in Glas­gow is a re­peat of the 2015 fi­nale that saw New­cas­tle pull out a 97-90 vic­tory en route to cap­tur­ing all four do­mes­tic prizes.

But even with Le­ices­ter keen to avenge last month’s cup fi­nal re­verse, Thom­son is ready to lean on the Ea­gles win­ning for­mula.

“You al­ways have to re­spect your op­po­nent and the style they play,” he said. “But you can’t change the way you play; you have to stick to your de­fen­sive prin­ci­ples while mak­ing lit­tle ad­just­ments in cer­tain ar­eas.

“We have to re­mem­ber what worked for us on our route to the fi­nal, we know how they’re go­ing to pres­sure us while on of­fence. We have to take care of the ball, while play­ing at our tempo and mak­ing them work on the of­fen­sive and de­fen­sive ends.” FIX­TURES. TO­DAY BBL Tro­phy fi­nal (Emi­rates Arena). New­cas­tle Ea­gles v Le­ices­ter Rid­ers (3.30) TO­MOR­ROW BBL. Manch­ester Gi­ants v Ply­mouth Raiders (6pm)

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