Cheshire Phoenix 73 (Marks 20, Bland 16, Myers 13)
Newcastle Eagles 96 (Maddox 27, Smith 17, Huffman 15, Defoe 15)
A huge double-double of 27 points and 11 rebounds by Kareem Maddox (pictured) powered Newcastle Eagles to a convincing 96-73 success at Northgate Arena as Cheshire Phoenix felt the full backlash of an opponent still smarting from a disappointing home floor loss to Plymouth.
The Eagles had booked their spot in the BBL Cup Final 48 hours previous to the game, but had to dodge a major bullet to get there, after crashing at home to Raiders but still progressing on aggregate scores over the tie.
That resulted in a few home truths having to be told for the Cup holders which meant Cheshire was always going to be on the receiving end, as Fab Flournoy and his players went about making instant amends with a vastly improved performance.
Charles Smith led the way with a blistering shooting display right from the tip-off, firing a flurry of three-pointers to put the visitors on their way as the Eagles opened up with a red-hot 30 point first quarter which put them 12 points ahead.
Phoenix made a better fist of things during the second quarter mainly via Chez Marks who wasback into the side after resting against Mersey Tigers in the previous game, but after matching the Eagles up until the break, Newcastle turned on the style when the second half resumed.
Cranking up the defensive intensity and re-discovering their offensive rhythm, they proved far too strong for the hosts who couldn’t contain the dominant play of Maddox and also frontcourt partner Darius Defoe who also claimed a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.]
Ex-Eagles forward Shaw Myers had 13 points and 12 rebounds for Cheshire.