There’s still a lot to be played for this weekend in the BBL, unless you’re the Esh Group Eagles Newcastle.
After winning a sixth BBL Championship last Sunday, the Eagles have a chance to take it easy this weekend as the final week of the regular season pans out. Newcastle player-coach Fab Flournoy is grateful for a brief respite before the playoffs get under way.
“Looking forward to having a lot of days off to be totally honest!” he admitted.
“I’ve got a couple of banged-up injuries, and hopefully we can get Drew Lasker back for the play-offs, which would be huge for us.”
Flournoy added, “At this point in time we can use this as a chance to get a break before the playoffs, because the playoffs are a totally different monster.
“The playoffs are going to be the cream of the league and in my opinion, that’s everyone.”
The Eagles could end up playing one of four teams in the playoffs and Flournoy doesn’t mind which team they end up facing.
“There’s no preference,” he said.
“Right now if you try and pick a certain team, you might as well be asking for a death wish, because any team on a given night can be tough.
“All our games no matter who we play are tough. We beat Birmingham and it was a tight game for a long time. The same with Durham, with Manchester, London Lions, there are no easy games.”
The break will also give the Eagles a chance to savour the Championship win, a title they won after finishing the season with eleven wins in a row, a streak which included important wins over title rivals Worcester and Sheffield.
“It’s a fantastic accomplishment for my guys,” said Flournoy. “We went through some tough moments such as losing the BBL Cup final in a heart-breaking way and even the trophy defeat, but through it all we remained resilient.
“We have heard it all this year. We are too old, not deep enough; we couldn’t win the big games.
“I am delighted to prove people wrong!”
“From the Worcester game onwards, it just seemed like we pulled together and we found our identity for what we wanted to do,” he added.
“We learned how to win and a couple of results went our way, and we took advantage of it.”