Eagles soar to first State Basketball Championship

Above: The East Perth Eagles celebrate their grand final victory. Left: Head coach Adam Forde and captain Drew Williamson hold the cup. Pictures: Serene Maisey
Above: The East Perth Eagles celebrate their grand final victory. Left: Head coach Adam Forde and captain Drew Williamson hold the cup. Pictures: Serene Maisey

Forde said he was relieved to bring home the win after the 2012 loss to Cockburn.

‘I didn’t over-celebrate the win much afterwards either,’ he said.

‘I was that exhausted I went home and went to bed.’

The seventh-placed East Perth Eagles won their first State Basketball Championship in only their second appearance in a grand final, in front of a sell-out crowd at the WA Basketball Centre.

The side got off to a fast start, stretching their lead to 20 points in the first half, with Joe Tupaea and Tom Jervis leading the charge, both registering double figures in points and rebounds.

After half-time, the Buccaneers came back fighting, outscoring the Eagles 28-16, bringing them to within two points at the start of the fourth.

It was the closest the Buccaneers got to the Eagles, who went on to score seven straight points and maintain the lead, winning by 16 points.

Tom Jervis finished with 22 points and 19 rebounds, Kyle Armour registered 15 points, while Drew Williamson’s championship -winning experience showed with 14 points.

Mathiang Muo and Nikola Donlagic also shot well, finishing with 12 points each, while Joe Tupaea won the Most Valuable Player, finishing with 12 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.

Forde was particularly pleased for Tupaea with his first MVP.

‘It was great to see Joey get the finals MVP,’ he said.

‘He has now played in nine grand finals for two clubs, and this was his fifth championship and first MVP; he played his absolute heart out.’

Forde will now focus on his role at the Perth Wildcats, vying for a seventh NBL championship.