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An unbelievable night of basketball in Denmark ended in defeat for the Seriös Group Newcastle Eagles as their European North Basketball League dream was taken away by them by the Bakken Bears.

In the end analysis this was as glorious as a defeat can be as there’s no doubt that Head Coach Marc Steutel’s players left it all on the floor. Reflections will take place as they came oh-so close to extending their rookie European adventure on a tremendously thrilling night.

Jordan Johnson’s three free throws took the game to a hard-fought overtime. (Photos: Abbie Orwin)

The Eagles may well be out but they can look back with real pride on a campaign that really but the British Basketball League and the Eagles franchise well and truly on the European map.

Newcastle started really well in the first three minutes netting five points to level the tie up on aggregate. Back came The Bears though with six unanswered of their own to take the lead on the night for the first time.

But Newcastle looked in the mood and Bakken were struggling to make baskets. The Eagles going into the lead overall as an 8 – 0 run had them up by seven points. It was already a see-saw affair which it continued to be all night and the Bears made the next run.

Nine to zero saw them turn the game back around and Steutel called a time-out to stem the flow and talk things over. It didn’t work as Bakken continued to look strong and were scoring from all areas. The home side continued to press ahead and took period one by 22 to 19.

The 45-minute Playoffs thriller had Eagles fans both in Denmark and back home gripped all the way to the final buzzer. (Photos: Abbie Orwin)

That momentum that they had built up continued in the second quarter. Eagles made plenty of opportunities but couldn’t take them as Bears stretched their lead on the night and to fourteen points in all for the two legs.

Another Steutel time-out was called but Bakken were really in the groove now and controlling the game at both ends of the floor taking a 49 to 37 lead as the teams headed to the locker rooms giving Newcastle a big hill to climb in the second half with the overall aggregate 17 points against them.

The response when Newcastle came out for the second half was sensational. Bakken opened with a triple it was the Tahj Green show. The explosive Eagles power forward took the game over in the period netting 13 points personal.

Aarhus, Denmark saw a spectacular ENBL game against two very closely matched teams. (Photos: Abbie Orwin)

With the support of Jordan Johnson and Rickey McGill it turned the game completely around as Newcastle came back to lead on the night and also went ahead in the overall scoring. A sensational quarter ended with them leading 69 to 61.

If Newcastle thought they had the momentum they were wrong as Bakken came storming back in the final quarter scoring eight straight to level the game on the night. McGill stopped the run but back came the Bears with another seven points and suddenly they were back up on aggregate by ten.

But McGill and the Eagles weren’t finished and somehow stormed back inside the final three minutes of regulation to take the game by 86 to 81 after regulation meaning the tie overall was level and overtime was needed to split the teams.

A group of more than 20 fans and staff travelled to the Danish city of Aarhus to support their Eagles – the best fans in British Basketball! (Photos: Abbie Orwin)

Perhaps their efforts in the second half just got to them in that extra period as Bakken steadied and defensively stood tall to finally blunt the Newcastle offence. The final five minutes went to the home side by 15 points to 6 meaning they edged past the gallant Eagles on the night and by nine points on aggregate.

Newcastle though can hold their heads high as they gave their all and pushed a Danish side that has vast European experience all the way. It was certainly a night were the Eagles may have come up just short but only in the score line and not in heart, commitment or endeavour.