It was another successful night on Friday for Newcastle Eagles to complete another highly successful week. The Eagles extended their current winning streak to seven with a hard-fought 94 – 85 victory over Worcester Wolves at the Eagles Community Arena.
That win followed up their first round Trophy win at Bristol on Tuesday and was the cherry on the cake of week that saw Eagles guard Rex Pflueger called up to the GB Squad for the second time and head coach Ian MacLeod make it back-to-back BBL Coach of the Month awards.
MacLeod scooped the January award after leading his team to five wins in the month including the lifting of the BBL Cup, franchise’s 26th National title. It’s been a team effort all-round by Newcastle but very much to the fore has been American forward Justin Gordon.
The man described by MacLeod as “the best defender in the BBL,” netted 22 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for a huge double-double against Wolves to showcase another MVP performance. The athletic forward was a happy man after Friday’s victory.
“A solid personal game for me stats wise but definitely a lot of things we can improve on both personally and as a team”, said Gordon.
“People ask if we have mental lapses when we allow teams back into games but it’s really about teams giving us their best punch.”
Gordon was referring to the fact that at one point Worcester closed to within six points of Newcastle in the final quarter after the home side had led by as many as twenty-two at one stage.
“I think you have to tip your hat to Worcester. They were hitting shots. They were something like 11 of 19 from 3-point range and that is just something crazy. But we’ve just got to learn how to keep playing our game when we’re so far ahead”, he added.
“It’s definitely hard to keep your foot on the gas when you’re that high ahead on the scoreboard. Then we’re trying not to make mistakes and we’re putting too much pressure on ourselves in that regard when we really should be relaxed.”
With the way the Eagles are playing at the moment and certainly the togetherness and toughness they are showing it seems like a noticeably confident camp at the present time. A fact that Gordon alluded too.
“We’re keeping our confidence high but staying humble as far as we know we can be way better than this. The only people holding us back right now are ourselves”, he said.
“We already know that we have more steps to go and we’re waiting for that to click and working for that to click.”
After a flurry of games recently Newcastle don’t play again until next Friday night when Sheffield Sharks come to the ECA. That game sparks another burst of four games in seven days including away fixtures at Bristol and Leicester before Sharks arrive again at the Arena.
Gordon is looking forward to a break before building back up to another torturous schedule of games.
“This is the second or third time that’s happened this season. This is definitely the most games I’ve played in these circumstances as a professional. But we’ve battling as a team and everyone has been sticking together and we know we’ve got to work together to have the same grind.”
“We’re going to enjoy these few days off and then get back to practice to get ready for what’s to come. It’s been a great season so far. I’m loving the Organisation, loving the team and our chemistry, good coaching and everyone’s out there to win and that’s what we want to keep doing.”