When Denzel Ubiaro netted a triple with two minutes thirty-seven seconds to go in period three, the Newcastle Eagles lead peaked at twenty three and the points were virtually sealed.
It had looked that way from early in the first quarter when Newcastle over turned a four-point deficit to take the first ten minutes by 30 – 21. A scintillating second period saw the Eagles stretch their lead to 61 – 40 at half time.
They did get a little sloppy after that Ubiaro three-pointer but Plymouth City Patriots dogged by ill-discipline and foul trouble were never going to come all the way back as the Eagles closed out a 108 – 96 point win.
Despite, as Head Coach Marc Steutel said post-game, playing like they were defending a lead rather than playing in the style that had established the lead, Newcastle held on to take only their second BBL Championship win of the season.
For Ubiaro, a former Plymouth player, it was a sweet moment and one that will help himself in this still emerging Newcastle roster that proved they have real firepower to burn but still have defensive adjustments to make. Ubiaro is happy to be part of that.
“It was a great win. It was nice to see us getting the scoreboard rolling early and nice to see us get a hundred points. That mean we’re picking up the face and I felt that we’re getting into our rhythm now. It was a really good win for us and we need to build on it.”
Playing against his ‘old’ team was certainly something Ubiaro enjoyed.
“It was a good game and it was funny. I was calling out their whole play-book every time they pulled it out as I’m still familiar with it which was a nice one to have in the back pocket and have a little one up on them.”
Ubiaro has been around Newcastle for a while and practising with the team but it was only just before last Friday’s win against Bristol that he was announced at having joined the roster.
“I’m loving the city and I’m loving the team. They’ve welcomed me in with open arms especially the coaches as well and I’m definitely enjoying my time here. I hope to add intensity especially on defence. I feel like I play at a very fast pace and above the rim.”
“So I definitely think I can bring that to the team, help create and just do whatever I can to help us win.”
Ubiaro may only have played sixteen and a half minutes collecting five points, two rebounds and two assists but it was the manner in which he did it that was impressive.
He was prepared to help the team out and the spark he gave them when coming on in the first quarter that will have given Coach Steutel a good feeling about his recruit as well as pleasing the Eagles fans.
“I feel that’s kind of staple of my game and I know that’s what Marc wants me to bring. The energy being really bitten on defence picking up full court and really focusing on that end of the court.”
“I’m a bit surprised to have come to the opposite end of the country from Plymouth but the more I’m here the more I’m getting comfortable with it and calling it home. It’s definitely a change of scenery but I’m liking it so far.”
The Eagles are also liking what they see from Ubiaro so far and with newest Eagle Justin Everett also settling in they will now all look to settle the roster down, kick on and show the undoubted potential they all have.