High flying Newcastle Eagles forward Kadiri Richard believes the reigning champions have what it takes to finish to of the podium again after they got back to winning ways over the weekend with an impressive performance against UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders.
The Eagles returned after an extended break from action without Fab Flournoy but nevertheless looking rejuvenated and hungry under the watchful eye of Dave Forrester as they crushed the Raiders 105-83 at Sport Central with Richard as good as anyone on show.
The former Worthing Thunder star threw down a bunch of spectacular dunks but also did the hard work on the glass to rack up an impressive double-double as the Newcastle players embarked on the final run-in as they bid to defend their crown.
“We practiced really hard all last week having not had any games the weekend before and it was a nice time for us to play Plymouth. Eeverything we did in the game was a continuation of the hard work.”
“Reggie Jackson has come in and that has helped us. You just can’t replace someone like Joe Chapman in terms of his scoring or reproduce the sheer intensity Fab (Flournoy) brings to our team as a player.”
“However, all of the guys are stepping up and trying to deliver whatever they can for the team. All over the floor guys are really doing their thing right now and it’s working for us.”
“Coach Forrester has also been really excellent for us too.”
“Having dropped a couple of games before we had our break we were definitely hurting and so it was nice to get the winning feeling back.”
“We feel like we are rolling again now exactly where we wanted to be heading down the season stretch – out at the front of the race which is always the best place to be.”
With fellow front-runners Mersey Tigers focusing on securing the Franklin & Marshall BBL Trophy, it gave a big opportunity for the chasing clubs to take advantage but there were mixed fortunes for those in the pack.
One Health Sharks Sheffield made up some ground with a pivotal win double as they firstly despatched Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders and then dodged a bullet at Prestige Homes MK Lions to sneak a 92-91 success.
Glasgow Rocks were also searching for back to back wins over the weekend and completed the first part of that task with a comfortable home win over Essex Pirates but then couldn’t follow it up as the they were beaten by closest rivals Cheshire Jets by 80-71 at Kelvin Hall.
In the race for play-off positioning, Worcester Wolves were the big winners of he weekend after claiming two victories while their nearest rivals faltered.