Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Eagles Again Suffer While Missing Fab; Newcastle Fail to Provide Flournoy with Fillip

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Eagles Again Suffer While Missing Fab; Newcastle Fail to Provide Flournoy with Fillip

Article excerpt

Byline: Jeff King

DEFENSIVE intensity and application is at the heart of Newcastle Eagles head coach Fab Flournoy's philosophy.

Having seen his side concede 100 points in a defeat to title rivals Sheffield Sharks first-hand as he made a brief return to the sidelines on Friday night, he would have hoped that it would not be repeated on Saturday in Leicester.

Unfortunately, it was a double blow for Flournoy.

Not only was he still too unwell to travel, his players failed to give him a much-needed tonic - slipping to another defeat and once again conceding 100-plus points in the process, losing 102-99 at Leicester. Perhaps the punishing schedule of completing ten games in only 29 days finally took its toll on the Eagles.

But back-to-back BBL Championship defeats, the first time this has happened since April 2004, have severely dented their hopes of retaining their crown.

On the plus side, despite those two defeats, the Eagles still remain at the top of the BBL table and now have two weeks to rest up their weary bones and recharge the batteries before taking to the court again against Plymouth Raiders at Sport Central on Sunday, March 6. By then Flournoy (pictured far right) should have recovered sufficiently to reclaim the reins from acting head coach Dave Forrester, who has done a fabulous holding job during his absence.

Forrester and Flournoy are close and will no doubt dissect and analyse the two defeats in depth and come up with the necessary strategy to move forward. The Eagles over the years have made it a speciality to bounce back from adversity.

And with the likes of mercurial guard Trey Moore, veteran forward Charles Smith and power forward Darius Defoe in their line-up, they clearly have the firepower to launch another winning run.

In captain Andrew Bridge, who has also stepped up during the coach's absence, the defensive energy of 'Big Man' Kadiri Richard and the solid back-up play of point guard Andre Lockhart, Flournoy clearly has a team that can answer his call. …

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