As the final weekend of regular season looms large, both our Eagles teams are in the running for 2023 Play-Offs qualification.
The top eight teams in both league’s will their journey to the coveted finals at The O2 in London on Sunday 14 May.
However, it’s not just a matter of our BBL and WBBL teams winning their games to become one of the eight, a number of scenarios need to go our way so we’ve broken them down.
Starting with the BBL, following Thursday night’s emphatic repeat win over Caledonia Gladiators, our Eagles remain in contention for 8th place.
The final seat in the post-season competition could come down to the final tip-off in the 2022-23 BBL Championship campaign at Plymouth City Patriots who are the only other team uncertain of a fixture next week.
In order to lock-in a Newcastle men’s Play-Offs qualification two things now need to happen:
- Lions beat Patriots tonight
- Eagles beat Patriots 9-points or more on Sunday
Eagles coaches, fans, players and staff have eyes on the Copper Box result this evening.
Then attention turns to Sunday’s game under our control, when a little-known and rarely called upon rule could come into play.
If our Eagles beat the Patriots by 9-points, we will be tied at eighth-spot in the league on wins and on the head-to-head in terms of points difference between our two teams, and so it’s on to the next statistical tie-break.
To resolve the deadlock BBL officials look to the points difference in all league games across the whole season for each team, which prior to tonight‘s tip-off in London has our Eagles front on -177 versus the Patriots’ -353.
Hoping that everything goes our way, we can give fans advance warning that if we progress we would host the 1st leg of the quarter-finals at home on Friday 28 April at 7:30pm and home Play-Offs Quarter-Final is included for season card holders with single-game tickets going on sale immediately after qualification.
The team finishing in 8th place will play the top seed so as champions it’s London Lions in opposition.
Turning to the WBBL, there’s no simple answer as the team head into the weekend also reliant on other results and possibly point difference for a Play-Off position.
Our Eagles need the win tomorrow in their longest road-trip to Cardiff Met Archers, but with three teams in the running for the last two post-season places it could also stretch to a Sunday showdown.
It is our closest rivals Durham Palatinates who have a hand in the game too, with victory for them in a double away weekend at Oaklands Wolves then London Lions could make it complicated.
As the Palatinates tip-off later at Wolves than our Eagles do at the Archers it’s a must-win game on Saturday to be assured qualification.
A 10-point win at Cardiff seals our Eagles a seat in next week’s schedule whatever happens, although anything less turns to a number of alternative outcomes needed to progress:
- Eagles win both games
- Eagles beat Archers by 10-points
- Eagles beat Archers by less than 10-points and Palatinates lose one of their two games
- Eagles lose to Archers, Palatinates lose both games and Eagles beat Suns
A perfect weekend for our women could see is finish 7th, but with all teams in action this weekend it could be a visit to Leicester, Caledonia or Sheffield in the single-legged quarter-finals. Whereas after a back-to-back Championship win secured by London Lions on Wednesday will see them face the 8th placed finishers.
It’s going to be a nail-biting climax to the season for all British Basketball fans following the men’s and women’s teams in the final stretch.