Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Flournoy Bounces Back in Fab Form

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Flournoy Bounces Back in Fab Form

Article excerpt

Byline: By Simon Rushworth

Fabulous Flournoy bounced back from the most difficult week of his BBL career last night to post a game-high 25 points and help strengthen Newcastle's defence of the BBL Trophy, writes Simon Rushworth.

The Eagles all but secured their place in the semi-finals of this season's competition with a narrow win against league leaders and fierce rivals Scottish Rocks at the Metro Radio Arena.

And it was Flournoy's all-action performance which caught the eye ( just five days after he was thrown out of Newcastle's match at Birmingham for punching opposite number Skouson Harker. The former Bullets favourite readily admitted that uncharacteristic loss of cool was the worst moment of his professional career and the fallout has certainly dented the reputation of one of the British game's true greats.

But Flournoy is a resolute individual well used to thriving in adversity. And an inspirational display reminded the player-coach's critics that his game has always been more about fight than fighting.

Flournoy can rarely have faced such intense scrutiny during nine years in the BBL, a period of unprecedented success which has seen the New Yorker claim every domestic honour.

Despite apologising to shocked fans for his actions in the immediate aftermath of Saturday's clash, the playcaller went into last night's fixture under the shadow of an ongoing English Basketball inquiry and rumours of possible police action.

But if the Rocks had hoped Flournoy would wilt under a week of growing pressure, then they were sorely disappointed as the Eagles' remarkable playcaller enjoyed his most influential half of the season.

Even the bizarre decision to name referee Paul Walton as one of last night's officials did not appear to faze the determined American. As one of the men on court during Saturday's ugly scenes, Walton's appointment smacked of unnecessary provocation. …

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