Worcester Wolves v Esh Group Eagles Newcastle

Friday 28 February 2014
University of Worcester Arena (19:30)

Jamal Williams
Exactly a week after their last encounter, the top two teams in the BBL Championship meet again as the Worcester Wolves host the Esh Group Eagles Newcastle in a game which could have big implications for the title race.

The two teams met up on Tyneside last Friday in a BBL Trophy quarter-final and the Wolves were victorious, 86-73, thanks in part to Jamal Williams’ big fourth quarter performance. The Wolves’ forward netted 11 points in a decisive 16-0 run that put the game beyond Newcastle’s reach.

“We have great team chemistry and every player trusts each other so it was great to see Jamal being a huge factor in the Newcastle game,” said Wolves’ coach Paul James.

“This was a massive game for us and we needed somebody apart from the usual three to bring something to the table. Jamal proved to be that person.”

The Eagles’ title bid lost some ground on Tuesday after a narrow defeat at One Health Sharks Sheffield, but with the head-to-head up for grabs on Friday, the Eagles could quickly turn things around with a win.

James is hoping that the expected large crowd will play their part in helping the Wolves to victory.

“This is a game that any basketball fan should not miss and especially Wolves fans, they are our sixth man,” he said. “It’s going to be a bumper crowd and so I would advise anybody wanting to see the game to get their tickets online and early this week, it’s probably going to be our biggest of the season!”

Last time they met:

Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 73 Worcester Wolves 86 (BBL Trophy, Sport Central, Newcastle, 21/12/2014)

What they say:

Eagles’ player-coach Fab Flournoy: “Last Friday was a tough basketball game. We played excellent basketball for around 25 minutes of the game but against a team as solid and talented as Worcester that simply isn’t enough. Our first quarter defence was not intense enough and that dug us a hole which we eventually couldn’t get out of, particularly given the amount of times we put them on the free throw line. For [Friday] we will have to review the tape and make appropriate adjustments. There are lots of things we did well but plenty we can do better. “

Wolves’ point-guard Zaire Taylor: “This Friday is arguably now the biggest game of the season, and it is tough to play and beat good teams twice in the space of one week. It will be challenging and highly competitive but I live for that kind of stuff, personally.”

For information about tickets visit www.worcesterwolves.org