Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Eagles Roll Back Years with Huge Raiders Win; NEWCASTLE EAGLES 118 PLYMOUTH RAIDERS 78

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Eagles Roll Back Years with Huge Raiders Win; NEWCASTLE EAGLES 118 PLYMOUTH RAIDERS 78

Article excerpt

Byline: SIMON RUSHWORTH

ARCH-RIVALS Leicester Riders might have wrapped up the regular season title without breaking into a sweat but Newcastle Eagles aren't about to give up on second place without a fight.

The most successful franchise in BBL history heads to Surrey Scorchers tomorrow with the runners-up spot firmly in its sights.

And a stunning 40-point demolition of the Plymouth Raiders proved there's plenty of life left yet in a club targeting playoff glory following an injury-ravaged campaign.

If London Lions slip up against either Manchester Giants tonight or Cheshire Phoenix tomorrow, then a Newcastle win against the Scorchers will guarantee a top-two finish for the Eagles.

Talk about triumphing in adversity. Whether the stars align for Fabulous Flournoy and his walking wounded remains to be seen.

But wherever the Eagles end up come close of play Sunday, this was a win that defiantly rolled back the years and will have dramatically raised expectations.

A man down after Jamal Williams broke his arm against Glasgow last weekend, Newcastle went into the first of two potentially pivotal league fixtures in desperate need of a confidence-boosting victory.

Plymouth, heading towards a bottom-three finish, proved to be the most obliging of visitors.

Fit-again Jaysean Paige plundered 40 points, with his headline-grabbing haul including four three pointers and a crowd-pleasing dunk down the stretch.

But it was total team basketball that underpinned a convincing win with Saah Nimley's 21 points in 22 minutes and Jure Gunjina's (inset) 12 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists catching the eye.

England international Drew Lasker partnered Nimley in the backcourt from the tip with Paige, apparently still lacking match fitness, watching on from the bench.

Also missing from Newcastle's starting five was the in-form Zarko Jukic: the Danish international was named alongside Nimley in this week's BBL Team of the Week after both players enjoyed outstanding nights against Manchester Giants the previous Friday. …

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