The draw for the MKM Euro Invitational Tournament 2016 which brings three FIBA European Champions League sides to Newcastle on Sunday September 4th and Monday September 5th has been made and what a line-up it promises to be.
The Semi-Finals will take place on the Sunday with Finals Day being on the Monday and in the first semi-final the home town Esh Group Eagles Newcastle will take on Denmark’s Bakken Bears with the game tipping off at Northumbria University Sport Central at 4:00pm.
That will be followed at 6:00pm by an intriguing and thrilling clash between Belgian Champions BC Oostend and Estonian power outfit Tartu Ulikool/Rock.
The Eagles will give débuts to new signings Deondre Parks, Orlan Jackman and Christian Behrens as well as welcoming back USA Stars Rahmon Fletcher last season’s BBL and Club MVP and Scott Martin, The Eagles Team Player of 15/16.
Bakken has three rookie Americans in their ranks fresh out from NCAA Division 1 colleges. They are led by point guard Trey Davis who averaged 18.7 points per game in his final season at Massachusetts, Forward Dwayne Benjamin from Oregon University and DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell who averaged 14 points per game in his final season at Illinois State University.
Bakken are hoping to negotiate a Trinidad passport for Akoon-Purcell as they also have 6′ 11” USA Centre Keane Thomann in their line-up.
There’s certainly no lack of height in the Danish side with former Danish International Chris Christoffersen coming in at 7′ 2” and Senegal Forward Michel Diouf a former Spanish LEB Gold Defensive Player of the year and last season’s Danish Defensive Player of the Year also included.
The Eagles certainly have a tough task on their hands if they are to get through and face either Oostende, pre-tournament favourites or Tartu in The Final.
Telenet BC Oostende who include American guards Corey Walden who was on the Boston Celtics roster at the beginning of last season and Shooting Guard D J Newbill also have four current Belgian International forwards in their ranks in the form of Jean Salumu, Khalid Bouckichou, Pierre-Antoine Gillet and Vincent Kesteloot.
Tartu will include their two newest signings on their roster both of whom are rookie professionals coming off good NCAA college careers. Venky Jois is an Australian forward that averaged 16.4 points and 8.7 rebs a game at Eastern Washington whilst USA guard Mandell Thomas scored 12.3 points a game in his senior season at Fordham University.
Tickets for this hugely exciting international event are available online now or by phoning The Eagles Office on 0191 2453880. They are priced at £10 per day or £17.50 for the two days.
Sunday September 4: Semi-finals
Eagles v Bakken 4pm Tip-Off
Oostend v Tartu 6pm Tip-Off
Monday September 5: Finals day
First Game Tip-Off 6pm
Second Game Tip-Off 8pm – This will be the Eagles game.