BARSY ATYRAU (Kazakstan) 93
NEWCASTLE EAGLES 84
The Eagles first foray in to Europe ended in defeat at the Basketball Days Tournament in the Landstede Topsporthal, Zwolle, Holland at the hands of a very efficient Barsy Atyrau side from Kazakstan. The Eagles now need to beat the Nigerian national side tomorrow night by eight points to qualify for the tournaments semi-final.
After an early flight out to Holland and an afternoon tip-off following a ten day break the Eagles could have been forgiven if they were weary at the start of the game but it proved the opposite. Against opponents that had lost to Nigeria the previous night they made a great start and were 8 – 0 up before the Asian side got on the board.
With Charles Smith scoring well from outside and Darius Defoe despite a considerable size disadvantage doing well inside, the Eagles managed to take the first quarter by 26 – 22. However the Kazakstan side led by Ukrainians Pavlo Tsopych and Sergei Sabutsky came back well in the second.
Andy Thomson looked dangerous for Eagles and it was good to see Paul Gause back on court but ultimately the Kazakstan side looked strong and took a 47 – 43 advantage in to the second half.
Barsy were on fire scoring well with inside play and knocking down outside shots to stretch their lead to 62 – 52 before Eagles led by Fab Flournoy hit them with an 18 – 4 run to end the third up at 70 – 66.
However, tired legs got the better of them in the final quarter and with Barsy getting to the line with regularity and shooting well, they went up by double digits again.
Eagles briefly rallied but Barsy held firm and ran out deserved winners in the end.
Newcastle : Andy Thomson 24, Charles Smith 21, Darius Defoe 13
Barsy : Pavlo Tsopych 24, Sergei Sabutsky 20, Mikhail Yevstigneev 16