With “The Beast from The East” still raging and Storm Emma about to ride in on the back of it, Esh Group Eagles took the very sensible decision to cancel tonight’s BBL Championship game between Newcastle Eagles and Worcester Wolves, writes Jeff King.
The continuing severe weather warnings gave the club little choice and it sends its apologies for any inconvenience caused. However, it was felt that the welfare and safety of its customers, staff, volunteers and players must come first.
The early notification of postponement also meant that opponents Worcester would not face what could have been a very arduous journey from the South West of the country and they were appreciative of the relayed decision.
The club has advised that anyone with tickets for the game should not travel to the venue and further information will be released in due course regarding the rearranged fixture date.
For one player though the postponement was a double blow. After his fine performance last week in the victory over Leeds when he kicked up a storm to help down The Force, Eagles own “Beast from The East”, Croatian Jure Gunjina had been looking forward to the clash against The Wolves after that win against Leeds.
“It was a much-needed win last week because of our 3-home-game losing streak and I think we responded really good even though we played a team from the bottom of the table. As far as it went for me, it felt really good to get some solid playing time and I am glad that I was able to produce the right way, it should help boost up my confidence as well.”
With Terry Martin being out with injury, Zarko Jukic on International duty with Denmark and Captain Darius Defoe limping out of the game early, the Croatian forward delivered a 17 point, 7 rebound, 8 assist and 2 block performance.
“We were short-handed, but it wasn’t no extra pressure really, I am a part of the team and always ready to step up when it’s needed, it’s really important to be able to deal with the adversity throughout the season.”
“Hopefully it’s a beginning of a winning streak for our team, and personally I just try to continue to stay on track with all the assignments given and play hard on the court.”
There’s no doubting that Gunjina possesses real talent but hasn’t always earned or had the opportunity to show that. He did last weekend and hopes it will stand him in good stead for the games to come.
“It might have been one of my best performances so far when it comes to statistics, but I won’t be satisfied enough because we just beat Leeds, there are a lot of challenges in front of us in the near future.”
“We are expecting to lose at least a couple of the guys for a stretch of 5-6 games due to international call-ups and the rest of us guys will have to step up. It is the final part of the season and it can be the turning point for all of us in the positive direction.”
Gunjina may have had the chance to continue his good form taken away from him by the UK weather but he knows he and his team-mates must be ready for the challenge ahead.
“If we continue to share the ball like we did against Leeds we can be unstoppable in the games to come. For me, I’ll play whichever part necessary in order for us to get a win. I am physically and mentally ready to play so I’ll do my best to show it on court when it’s game time.”
That next game time will be Friday 9th March when Plymouth Raiders will be the visitors to Northumbria University Sport Central with tip-off at the usual time of 7:30pm.