An unrepentant Marc Steutel will not think twice about fighting his players’ corner despite being thrown out of Saturday’s feisty clash at Surrey Scorchers.

The passionate playcaller revealed a build-up of frustration was behind his emotions boiling over towards the end of a tetchy affair in Guildford.

Eagles Men were defeated 90-77 last time out against Surrey Scorchers. (Photos: Surrey Scorchers)

And Steutel insisted he would continue to campaign for better communication between coaches and officials after two rapid-fire technical fouls led to an unceremonious ejection.

“First of all I never want to be ejected from a game,” said the Great Britain playcaller, in the wake of a potentially costly 90-77 loss at Surrey.

“But I’ll fight for my team every single day.

“I’ve spoken to other coaches about this issue and the officials need to ensure there’s appropriate respect when they’re communicating with us.

“I just didn’t feel that respect was there on Saturday and I was really disappointed.

“There was a lack of constructive communication and the officials took a very egotistical approach — something that’s been evident at times earlier this season.”

Steutel felt that breakdown in communication reached a critical level down the stretch.

The defeat to Scorchers was Eagles Men second loss in a row as tensions boiled over. (Photos: Surrey Scorchers)

And his frustration boiled over in the face of a series of close calls and the repeated failure of the referees to address his concerns.

“There was a travel by Padiet Wang with about four minutes to go, in a 10-point ball game, when he shuffled his feet four or five times at the top of the key,” explained Steutel.

“It was a blatant error that you’d expect to get picked up in a junior basketball game.

“We were on the receiving end of that when the officials went on to call a foul and then they missed an obvious goaltend at the other end.

“When Larry [Austin Jr] asked for the goaltend — without swearing or raising his voice — he was given a technical.

“It was a build-up of all of those incidents that triggered my reaction.”

Although Steutel was clearly aggrieved by what he perceived to be a poor level of officiating, the Newcastle playcaller did not look for excuses in the wake of a fourth defeat in five games.

Eagles Men will be looking to get back to winning ways as they head closer to the Play-Offs. (Photos: Surrey Scorchers)

And he pointed to his team’s failure to repel a volley of early threes, coupled with a lack of purpose on offence, when analysing another costly loss.

“Surrey is a tough place to go but since I’ve been here we’ve had a solid record down there,” he added.

“It was tough to lose a game that we wanted to win so badly.

“They converted five three-pointers in the first quarter and three of those shots really frustrated me — I felt we could have defended them better.

“After that we had to find different ways to get back into the game and I thought the guys battled hard to stay in touch.

“Ultimately some of the calls didn’t go our way and, credit to Surrey, they made some good plays down the stretch. That was the difference.”

Back-to-back defeats ensured it was a weekend to forget for the men in black as Newcastle lost their grip on fourth spot.

And now attention turns to a pivotal final 24 hours of the British Basketball League regular season, with another double-header assignment looming.

The Eagles face a fearless Cheshire Phoenix outfit at the Vertu Motors Arena on Friday before a trip to Manchester Giants the following day.

“Cheshire have put together a balanced roster and the pieces fit together really well,” added Steutel.
“They’ve had some big wins all season and they’re a difficult team to play against.

“But we want that homecourt win and we’ll be doing all we can to negate the Nix threat and try to exploit any weaknesses.

“In spite of everything that’s happened this weekend I think the best version of this Eagles team is good enough to beat Cheshire.”