BBL Championship
Manchester Giants 81 (11,34,55) (Okoro 25, Jones 13, Bankevics 12)
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 115 (26,51,85) (Smith 23, Fletcher 22, Martin/Lasker 16)

Esh Group Eagles Newcastle made it a successful weekend double-header after they eased their way to a convincing 115-81 win away at Manchester Giants.

Charles Smith led the way with 23 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists having started the game in the absence of Andy Thomson as all nine available players got on the scoresheet.

Rahmon Fletcher netted 22 points and dished out nine assists with Scott Martin and Drew Lasker adding 16 points apiece.

The Eagles stated their intentions early on and held their opponents to 11 points in the first quarter after making a 22-5 start to the game. Manchester were more competitive in the second and doubled their tally, but still found themselves down 17 at the half.

Fletcher scored 10 points in the opening four minutes of the third as Newcastle increased their lead to 30 points, which would remain the differential heading into the final quarter.

Both teams were free-flowing on offence in the fourth with the Eagles running their bench as they brought up their century midway through the period. The final winning margin was 36 points as the visitors improved to 26-3 in the BBL Championship.

Jerelle Okoro impressed again for the Giants and put up 25 points against the defending champions, although his side’s league record now stands at 7-23.