|March 23, 2019||7:00 pm||WBBL Championship||2018-19|
Captain fantastic Giulia Simioni insists Newcastle Eagles WBBL are peaking at the perfect time ahead of a full-on playoff assault.
The Swiss star is the reigning Molten WBBL Player of the Month after racking up an average of 11 assists and 13 points per game in February.
But Simioni’s form will be tested to the limit this weekend with a tough double header against reigning champions Sevenoaks Suns and derby rivals Durham Palatinates looming large.
“Sevenoaks are one of the best teams in the league and have been for a while,” admitted Newcastle’s on-court general ahead of tonight’s clash against the Suns at the Eagles Community Arena (7pm tip).
“We just want to do ourselves justice and play a good game. If we can do that then we’ll see where it takes us.
“We’re a better side at home and you never know what could happen.
“I feel as if we’ve come together as a squad in the last few weeks – having Kalina [Axentieva] and Georgia [Ohrdorf] back has certainly helped.
“We’ve also brought in two new players and that’s freshened things up. Our rotations are better and players can rest at key times.
“I think we’re peaking at just the right time and we are focused on heading into the playoffs in top form.”
The Suns have dominated the WBBL in recent seasons and boast former Team Northumbria favourites Ta’Yani Clark and Cat Carr on a talent-stacked roster.
Both players feature in the WBBL’s top four in assists and restricting Sevenoaks’ legendary ball movement will be key if Newcastle are to contest the win tonight.
Tomorrow’s trip to the Palatinates looks like a must-win match for both teams as the race for playoff places gathers pace.
Durham have emerged as the breakout side of the season following their run to the WBBL Trophy final.
And Lee Davie’s side are just two points adrift of the sixth-placed Eagles ahead of what promises to be another mouthwatering derby.
“Sunday is a huge game for us,” added Simioni. “When you look at where both teams sit in the league and the series between us so far this season it’s a significant match.
“We’ve had a lot of close games against Durham already and it’s never easy to play in their gym.
“They’ve brought in some top quality players and had a strong season so far. But we are deeper than they are and we have to make that advantage count.”
Our BBL season ticket holders get half price entry to tonight’s WBBL clash at the ECA and tickets are available in advance or on the door: