Newcastle Eagles return home to the ECA tonight for a huge BBL Cup quarter-final match-up against Bristol Flyers. The Eagles go into the game in good heart on the back of an excellent 98 – 84 win at Manchester in the BBL Championship on Sunday.
A game where the ever-reliable Louis Sayers once more was in Newcastle’s starting five and he expressed his pleasure at the way the side played, particularly in the second half.
“We started off not too great but we managed to turn it around. In the second half we stepped it up quite a bit lead by our defence. What we have to do is try and make that a consistent thing throughout the whole game. That was the really positive feeling for me.”
What was also evident during that second half was the support coming from the bench as well as on-court with the real feeling of a squad and coaching staff that is really together.
“I’ve felt that right from the start,” Sayers replied when asked about that.
“Right from the first week we’ve had a really good chemistry and we’ve built on that each week. More so than any team I’ve been on. We’re really gelling and are all on the same page. I think you can see that both on and off the court.”
Pleasing words from a valuable member of the side that often goes about his business unnoticed but not by his teammates and Coach. They know the contribution Sayers brings as he settles into life as an Eagle having often been in opposition in his BBL career.
“I’m the sort of person that tries not to look too far ahead and I probably never thought about being here. But now that I am it’s definitely what I expected and more. A very professional club and the culture around it is all about trying to win and get more trophies. I’m enjoying it so far.”
“I’ve played different roles at different teams. Sometimes coming off the bench, sometimes starting and sometimes doing a bit of both. With Rex (Pflueger) being out which was unfortunate I’ve had to step-up and we’ll see how that goes as we move forward.”
“But I think most of our team is pretty versatile in the roles that we play and how we contribute and we just support each other as we need too.”
Bristol Flyers are a well-coached and tough opponent standing in the way of Newcastle progressing to the BBL Cup Semi-Finals although they have been a little inconsistent in their performances so far this season.
“I feel that is similar to what a lot of teams are doing in the league this season. But they’ve brought in a couple of GB Internationals fairly recently in Ben Mockford and Teddy Okereafor. The look a strong team and one you can’t take for granted so it’s going to be a tough one.”
“Being at home is a plus and we just need to concentrate on playing our game and playing throughout the full 40 minutes. We shown that on occasion but need to do it more consistently. We need to lock in on defence and play with our own identity.”
“If we can do that for the full 40 minutes, we should be fine but we’re not going to take them for granted that’s for sure and will be going all out to progress.”
Wednesday night at the ECA is an unusual one for the Eagles but in these COVID influenced times games are coming thick and fast and they need to be ready for the 7:30pm tip-off with the game available to watch live on the new BBL Player.