Date Time League Season
January 22, 2023 4:00 pm Men's Championship 2022-23

Can Newcastle’s French revolution bring down Bristol’s King?

That’s the question on every fan’s lips as second hosts second bottom in this afternoon’s big BBL clash.

Eagles star Hasahn French heads south fresh from dropping a monster double double on Manchester Giants.

But fellow former G Leaguer VJ King heads into an eye-catching fixture full of confidence after leading all scorers in title-challenging Flyers’ crushing 91-73 win at Sheffield Sharks.

“We have what it takes to be one of the best sides in the BBL,” insisted French after the dynamic forward bagged 19 points and 18 boards against Manchester.

“And I’m confident we can beat the top teams.

“I know Bristol have a few guys who can score.

“And I know VJ King from the States. He’s a player who can put numbers on the board.

“They’ve got some solid bigs but I’m going to watch the film on the way down there and try to key in on what we can do to counter them.

“It’s about us and it doesn’t matter about any other team. This is about Newcastle Eagles. If we can tidy things up and stick to the plan then we can win any game.”

If French’s move to Toronto’s G League affiliate Raptors 905 didn’t work out then King headed to the BBL last summer following back-to-back seasons with the Westchester Knicks.

The forward averaged 5.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per game for the New York Knicks’ feeder franchise.

And French versus King is just one of the fascinating match-ups set to pace a 4pm tip-off in the south west.

Newcastle face their second game inside 48 hours on the back of Friday’s humbling homecourt defeat by Rahmon Fletcher’s Manchester.

But a bullish French added: “We’ve just got to come out and rebound even better than we did against the Giants.

“I just felt as if Manchester were more aggressive on the glass. I felt we played pretty hard but there are still things we need to work on defensively.

“I feel like there are things we need to tidy up to beat the big teams in this league but I think we’re a team that’s capable of doing that. Now we just have to show it week in, week out.”

French has been a slow burner for the men in black after inking his first BBL deal before Christmas.

But the 24-year-old battering ram exploded against the Giants — adding three towering blocks and four assists to a stacked 29-minute stat line.

“I’m not really worried about my numbers,” insisted French. “I’m only interested in winning. “Everything I do is about trying to win a game of basketball — if I have two points or 20 points I’m the same player.

“I try to affect things when I’m on the court. I try to rebound first and if I can get points for my team then that’s what I’ll do every time.

“I’m happy with the progression that we’re making as a team but I’m only ever satisfied if we win.”

Newcastle’s clash with Bristol will be screened live on the BBL YouTube channel.