Esh Group Eagles Newcastle face the old maxim of “one game at a time” as they go in to another tough weekend of BBL basketball action. They face two games in 24 hours for the second time in little over two weeks with the outcome seemingly crucial to their season even at this early stage.
Losing those two Championship games at home to reigning Champions Leicester Riders and then down at Bristol Flyers meant they were put in a position where they needed to get back on track last weekend against Worcester Wolves. Head Coach Fab Flournoy and his players managed just that.
But now they have to go again and whilst they must not lose focus on tonight’s opponents Cheshire Phoenix, they are also aware that The Riders lie in wait in Leicester tomorrow in a huge BBL Cup Quarter Final where the winners would take the mantle of Cup favourites.
That’s life in The BBL and Flournoy and his players are used to dealing with such circumstances and therefore will take it one game at a time although in practice this week they have in essence had to prepare for both games with such a short term around time.
They know the dangers of underestimating a Cheshire side who are also through to the Cup quarter finals and have had a solid BBL season thus far. With the explosive power and athleticism of Jimario Rivers, Jordan Sessions and Di’Jon Allen-Jordan they have a strong permit line-up.
Add in the shooting power and guard play of Momcillo Latinovic and Daniel Norl and it’s clear to see this is a Phoenix side well capable of taking the Eagles all the way tonight. Newcastle must guard against thoughts of games to come and look to see of Cheshire tonight to keep their Championship challenge going.
One of the key factors to this game as has been so all season is Eagles power forward Victor Moses who is having a stellar first season on Tyneside. Last week his 31 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 blocked shots gave him an efficiency rating of 44 which is the highest recorded by an individual in The BBL thus far this season.
Moses averages 19.4 points per game and doubles that up with 10.3 rebounds a game inside the League’s top three in that category. His points scoring has him inside the league’s top ten scorers alongside team-mate Jeremy Smith who is averaging 19.3 points per game.
They are backed up by mercurial point guard Rahmon Fletcher who dishes out assists to these two and the rest of his colleagues at a league leading 10.6 a game to compliment the scoring power of a potent Eagles line-up.
Newcastle will look to their big three alongside Captain Darius Defoe to form the backbone of their offence tonight as they go looking for a second win this season over Cheshire. The Phoenix were The Eagles first opponents this season at Sport Central a game that ended in a 70 – 65 victory for the hosts.
Tonight’s game sees both sides coming in as units that have been together for longer and has the potential to be just as close as the last time although a higher score line is predicted. Tip-off at Sport Central is at the usual time of 7:30pm.
Tickets are still available.