Date Time League Season
March 13, 2024 5:30 pm ENBL 2023-24

Marc Steutel is confident Seriös Group Newcastle Eagles have learnt the lessons needed to keep a magical European adventure alive.

The men in black tackle Bakken in the Bears’ own back yard tonight looking to overturn a five-point quarter-final first leg deficit.

And with a European North Basketball League (ENBL) final fours spot up for grabs, Stuetel insists the best is yet to come from his 10-deep roster.

“We didn’t excel in a lot of the areas that we pride ourselves in, last time out against the Bears,” said Great Britain’s head coach.

Bakken Bears carry a 5 point lead over Coach Steutel’s Eagles going into tonight’s clash. (Photos: Gary Forster)

“That’s where we can draw some positivity heading into the second leg.


“I honestly think we can do a lot better against Bakken and I’m sure they’ll feel the same.

“We’re down two scores despite not being at our best. That has to be a confidence-booster for the team and for our fans.”

Bakken boast weapons across the court with none more dangerous than free-scoring guard Skylar Bowlin.

The US star shot the lights out on Tyneside 12 days ago but Stuetel insisted on judging the bigger picture following last night’s practice in Aarhus.

“In terms of the ENBL, the last game was our toughest yet,” he added. “The Bears are a talented team with strength in depth in key positions.

“Bowlin’ was probably the difference for them down the stretch and we recognise his ability.

Our last outing was one of the toughest tests for our Eagles in their first season of European competition. (Photos: Gary Forster)

“I’ve identified a couple of his possessions from the first leg where we could have executed our gameplan better.

“We’ve learnt our lesson and we’ll try to move on.

“But Bakken have athleticism and size too. Across the court they’re a very well constructed team.

“Throw in their perimeter play — Bowlin aside — and it becomes clear why they presented us with our toughest ENBL game yet.

“They’re a well organised team but so are we when we’re at our best.”
Newcastle failed to get out of second gear on Sunday as a disappointing display at Caledonia Gladiators led to a heavy defeat north of the border.

But the ENBL has provided a platform for renewed optimism all season and a strong contingent of Eagles officials and fans has been arriving in Denmark since Monday believing another big win’s on the cards.

Our loyal fan base travelled to Estonia for our last ENBL away fixture against Keila KK. (Photos: Newcastle Eagles)

For Steutel, the conclusion of a season that’s slowly gathered momentum is suddenly on the horizon and there’s no time to look back — only forward.

“You get to March and all of a sudden you’ve reached the business end of things,” he added.

“I spoke about it on day one of camp. I broke everything down into months, weeks and days — practices and games — and explained how things would move fast.

“Blink and we’re already there. We’ve had to adapt multiple times to challenging situations and that’s the big positive we can take into the final few weeks.

“We’ve had some difficult situations to navigate but everything has brought us to where we are now.

“We’re in the midst of a punishing schedule but there’s still so much to play for and we’ve been preparing for this moment since last summer.

“We understand what we need to do and where we need to be in order to progress our playoff campaigns at home and abroad.”

Regardless of whether Newcastle upset the form book in Denmark tonight, it feels as if Steutel has assembled a team for now and for the future.

And the proud playcaller added: “I’ve said it time and time again — and maybe it’s because I’m a coach who’s loyal to his players — but I love our group.

“I love what we stand for and how we’re trying to get better every day. And I think we’re excited to get stuck into the business end of the season.”

Tonight’s clash tips off at 5:30pm UK time and the action is streamed live on our website with the build-up and full commentary featuring former Eagle Drew Lasker from 5:15pm.