UPDATE: This game has been postponed
Tajh Green is braced for a Plymouth backlash as Seriös Group Newcastle Eagles bid for back-to-back wins against the bruised Patriots.
The men in black hit the road on Saturday buoyed by Thursday’s battling 95-82 win against Paul James’ men in front of a sold out Vertu Motors Arena crowd.
But Green expects the hosts to come out all guns blazing as two fierce rivals lock horns for the second time in 48 hours.
“We know that every single one of those Patriots players will come at us down there just because they’ll all be hurting after that loss,” said Newcastle’s in-form US forward.
“We respect every player on that team and we know what to expect on Plymouth’s home court. They’re a professional team with pride — just like us.”
Green bamboozled the Patriots defence with a near perfect inside-outside game that included big boards, crowd-pleasing dunks and deadeye conversions from way downtown.
The former Manchester Giant added eight rebounds to a season-high 31 points and dominated the MVP conversation from tip.
Plymouth tried every trick in the book to disrupt Green and his team-mates as they arrived on Tyneside with a plan to bully their hosts into submission.
But James’ strongarm tactics backfired spectacularly with two Patriots players fouling out before the final buzzer.
“We stayed disciplined, we didn’t overplay anyone and respected every Plymouth player on the court,” added Green.
“We rebounded better in the second half and that made a difference.
“The game was kind of ugly but we know that every game isn’t always going to be pretty.
“It wasn’t our best performance but we stuck to the task and even when we faced some adversity we still chipped away to secure the win.”
Newcastle faced the first of two games against Plymouth in three days without the sidelined Devin Whitfield, Will Neighbour and Scott Spencer.
And Plymouth must have sensed an opportunity to pick up two points on the road against the short-handed Eagles.
But Marc Steutel’s men maintained their focus to finish a scrappy game in fine style.
“It was the last home game of 2023 so that was our first mission — closing out with a victory in front of our fans,” added Green.
“We wanted to get the victory and take some momentum into our home games in 2024.”
Green enjoyed his best game yet in a Newcastle jersey and was able to laugh about the fact that he narrowly missed out on two eye-catching alley-oops late in the game.
“Look, two points is two points and that’s all that matters,” he said. “But yeah I was ready to slam home those chances!
“Otherwise it was just one of those games for me. At half time I just felt it was going to be a good night for me and the team.
“It’s my team-mates’ effort that gives me the opportunity to score big, get me in the right spots and impact on the game.
“They believe in me and I believe in them. It was a group effort to get me over the 30-point mark — the first time I’ve done that this season. It feels good.”
The Saturday night game tips-off in Plymouth at 8pm and can be watched live on the British Basketball League’s YouTube channel.