Date Time League Season
October 16, 2023 7:30 pm Men's Championship 2023-24

Marc Steutel expects no mercy from London’s in-form Great Britain contingent as the Lions’ homegrown stars look to press their senior international claims tonight.

But the Seriös Group Newcastle Eagles playcaller insists his evolving roster is relishing the chance to test itself against the very best British basketball has to offer.

And Steutel — who doubles up as national team boss — anticipates a thrilling advert for UK hoops as the men in black look to claim a prized scalp on the road.

“It’s good that we get to see leading British players like Gabe Olaseni (pictured above), Tarik Phillip, Josh Sharma and Luke Nelson playing at the top level in this country,” said Newcastle’s head coach.

“The Lions have set the standard in terms of performance, talent and how they’ve constructed their roster.

“And it’s fantastic that homegrown players are at the very heart of that strategy.

Steutel coached London Lions’ new centre Gabe Olaseni with the GB national team. (Photo: Gary Forster)

“Every team in the league looks forward to testing themselves against London and we’re no different.

“The guys have worked exceptionally hard in practice this week because they want to go down there and make things as difficult as possible for the Lions.”

Steutel has worked closely with the majority of London’s GB stars and enjoyed some famous victories alongside Nelson and co. during his time as interim national team boss.

Now that the former Northumbria University playcaller has been handed the reins full-time he’s keeping an even closer eye on the British Basketball League’s deepening homegrown talent pool.

And Steutel is delighted with the start Phillip has made to his Lions career following his recovery from a serious knee injury.

“It’s fantastic to see Tarik back on the floor and back to doing what he does best,” he added.

“His efficiency and the way that he’s shooting the ball has been a big factor in London’s strong start to the season and he’s shown why the Lions were so interested in him.

“Josh is incredibly consistent and it’s good to see Gabe playing over here at this stage of his career — I think it’s a great move for him.

“And what can I say about Luke? Outside of the games we’ve got against London this season he’s a player I love to check in with and see how he’s doing.

“It’s really, really positive for the national team to have these talented players working day, in day out within an organisation like the Lions.”
One player regrettably out of Steutel’s GB reach is breakout star Matt Morgan.

The US guard has exploded onto the scene, averaging 21 points per game off the back of a 72 per cent true shooting percentage.

And Steutel expects Morgan and Sam Dekker — tipped to return from injury tonight — to pose a double threat throughout the season.

“When you look at what Morgan’s done during his career to date he was always going to make a big impression in this league,” added Newcastle’s playcaller.

“He’s doing what he was brought in to do.

“He’s a really efficient, high-level scorer and when London add Dekker to the mix it’s going to be very difficult defending those guys.

“We have to do a good job on both of them but when it comes to the Lions we need to defend by committee.

“They boast threats one thru 11 and so it’s all about team defence as far as we’re concerned.

“We have to make London work really hard for every point and, at the same time, try to build some momentum and rhythm of our own.”

London (7-0) host Newcastle (2-3) live on the British Basketball League’s YouTube channel from 7.30pm.