Glasgow Rocks v Esh Group Eagles Newcastle  

Sunday 28 December 2014 – Emirates Arena (17:00)  

 Both teams are insisting it will not be a dress rehearsal for the BBL Cup final when Glasgow Rocks and Newcastle Eagles meet this Sunday at the Emirates Arena in a Championship clash.

With the showpiece event in Birmingham just over two weeks away, Rocks player-coach Sterling Davis’ primary focus is bouncing back from last week’s disappointing defeat at Sheffield Sharks.

The 69-55 reverse saw Rocks register their lowest points total of the season to date, but it was not just his side’s shooting woes that Davis was unhappy about.

“We didn’t do a good job of handling the ball at all,” he said.

“To have 20-plus turnovers to six assist is the perfect recipe for disaster.”

Rocks played that game without JaJuan Smith, who missed the Sheffield trip due to injury.

“JaJuan is day-to-day at the moment, but we hope to have him back as soon as possible,” Davis added.

Smith’s return would be a boost for Rocks on Sunday as they face a rampant Eagles team, who have not lost in any competition since September.

“I’m sure both teams will have the Final in the back of their minds but also understand that we both need wins in league play as well,” explained Davis.

“Newcastle will want to keep their title contentions in hand and we are trying to keep a Play-off spot at the moment so there is a lot to play for before the Final.”

Last time they met:

Newcastle Eagles 103 Glasgow Rocks 93 (BBL Championship, Sport Central, 14/11/2014)

What they say:

Eagles player-coach Fab Flournoy: “I expect an extremely tough game in Glasgow. They play very well at home and I am sure that they will be ready for the game. I am not sure that the upcoming BBL Cup Final will have much impact; when the ball gets thrown up both teams will need to be ready to make plays. That never changes.

“It’s always more pleasing to win than lose. The winning streak tells us that we have a competitive team but at this point in the season, nothing more than that.”