EAGLES WBBL VS CALEDONIA PRIDE
EAGLES WBBL VS DURHAM PALATINATES
One of British basketball’s brightest prospects has promised to keep on learning after teaching Newcastle’s WBBL rivals a lesson last season.
Abby Lowe was the breakout star of a topsy turvy Eagles campaign as Chris Bunten’s side shrugged off a slow start to reach the 2021 playoff final.
And the guard maintained her meteoric rise throughout the summer — peaking with a surprise call-up to Great Britain’s 3×3 senior squad in Paris earlier this month.
“The people that I got to speak to and mix with in France taught me so much,” said Lowe ahead of this weekend’s WBBL Cup double header.
“A lot of them were coming into the Euro Cup competition straight off the back of the Tokyo Olympics.
“There was so much talent and experience everywhere I looked. I learnt a lot and I want to keep learning.
“Before this year 3×3 basketball wasn’t really on my radar but I loved my time with the GB Under 23s.
“And when I got the message from GB 3×3 coach Stef Collins asking me to join the senior squad I couldn’t wait.
“I feel really sharp going into the new WBBL season. 3×3 basketball is a very different game but it’s a very physical game.
“There’s a lot more contact and I had to really work on my finishing under pressure.
“That’s something I’ll take into this weekend in the games against Caledonia and Durham.”
Newcastle face the Pride this afternoon and the homecourt Palatinates tomorrow in back-to-back WBBL Cup group games at Durham’s Sport and Wellbeing Park.
And Bunten has already demanded the women in black target a brace of victories from a winnable opening weekend.
“I love this squad and if we stick together we can go far this season,” added Lowe.
“Everyone knows we were down to the bare bones towards the end of last season and I often found myself trying to hold something back for the final quarter of games.
“This time we’ve got such a deep roster. I know I can go out there and give it my all every time I step on court.
“I don’t need to save myself or worry about what might happen. It’s all about the here and now.
“Everyone goes really hard in practice and we’ll be no different come game time.
“We’ve all got that winning mentality and we’re full of confidence.”
Bunten approached last season with a similar level of confidence before a series of serious injuries and high-profile departures piled the pressure on the Newcastle coach.
Twelve months down the line he’s hoping for better luck…and a far faster start to the season.
“We have zero injuries and most players have recovered well from two pre-season games in three days,” he added.
“Our strength in depth is a real asset this season and something that should give us an edge against Caledonia and Durham.
“Our plan is to approach both games in the same way: to get in the opposition’s faces and dominate from tip to buzzer.”
Both of Newcastle’s fixtures tip off at 3pm with both games played behind closed doors and streamed live on the WBBL YouTube channel via the links at the top of this page.