First leg: Sport Central, 7.30pm Friday 22 April
Second leg: Cheshire Oaks Arena, 5.30pm Sunday 24 April
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle and Cheshire Phoenix meet for the seventh and eighth time this season in the BBL Play-Off Quarter-Finals.
Following Friday’s defeat in the BBL Championship decider against Leicester Riders, Eagles were beaten by Cheshire Phoenix on Sunday.
It was a year to the day since the Cheshire club’s previous victory against Fab Flournoy’s men, under similar circumstances and saw them close this campaign with three straight wins.
Eagles will be out to defend the last of the four titles they won last season, while Phoenix are aiming for a first Play-Off Final appearance since 2005.
Last time they met:
* Phoenix’s Kinu Rochford exploded for 40 points when these teams met on Sunday
* Eagles have reached each of the last four BBL Play-Off Finals
* Phoenix have reached the BBL Play-Off Semi-Finals in three of the previous five seasons
Cheshire Phoenix 105 Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 84 (BBL Championship, Cheshire Oaks Arena, 17 April 2016)
What they say:
Eagles forward Scott Martin: “I think whenever you lose, you want to play right away to get back on the right track. The regular season didn’t end the way we wanted it to but the good thing is that we still have an opportunity to win more silverware this season.
“We have played Cheshire a lot this season and that means both teams will be familiar with one another, so there won’t be any surprises for either team. They are a team that often gets out to strong starts so we will have to look to match them early in the game.
“The experience [of the Play-Offs] definitely helps, however it isn’t the most important thing. For us, we have to come out and execute our game plan, if we can do that then good things tend to happen for us, so that is where our focus needs to be.”
Phoenix guard Danny Huffor: “We played well as a team this weekend and our defence turned in to our offence. Hopefully we can carry that into the Play-Offs.
“It’s Play-Off time and this is what we all play for. They will be ready to play and make their push as we will be too.
“It will come down to toughness, execution, and being mentally ready and focused for 80 minutes.”