Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Eagles Pile on Points as Playoff Run Looms Large

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Eagles Pile on Points as Playoff Run Looms Large

Article excerpt


NEWCASTLE EAGLES ........118 PLYMOUTH RAIDERS............ . 78 ARCH-RIVALS Leicester Riders might have wrapped up the regular season title without breaking into a sweat but Newcastle Eagles aren't giving up on second 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 raised expectations.

A man down after Jamal Williams broke his arm last weekend, Newcastle went into the first of two key 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 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 Danish international Zarko Jukic. …

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