Cheshire Phoenix 65 (9,36,49) (Middleton 27, Doumbe 12, Coleman 11)
ESH Group Newcastle Eagles 106 (34,56,89) (Gause 23, Cooke 21, Defoe 19)
ESH Group Newcastle Eagles handed out a harsh BBL lesson to Cheshire Phoenix’s new recruits as they returned to the north-east with a 106-65 victory.
It’s the second win for Fab Flournoy’s team on the opening weekend of the season to go with their home triumph on Friday against Durham Wildcats. Paul Gause led the way with 23 points for Newcastle but it was Malik Cooke who produced an almost perfect performance with 21 points on nine of nine shooting. Cooke’s only shooting blemish was missing a free throw. Darius Defoe (pictured) had 19 points for the Eagles.
The match result was never in doubt once Eagles had shot out to a 34-9 lead after ten minutes. Phoenix pulled to with 16 (36-20) early in the second quarter but weren’t allowed to get any closer at Newcastle went in at half-time 56-36 up.
That advantage was doubled in the third quarter with Stuart Thomson’s three making it 89-49. The Eagles’ lead peaked at 100-53 on Cooke’s two as Newcastle showed they mean business this season.
For the home team Reggie Middleton led all-scorers with 27 points but it’s two losses from two games after defeat at One Health Sharks Sheffield on Friday.