Date Time League Season
February 3, 2024 7:30 pm Women's Regular Season 2023-24

It’s been four weeks since the Seriös Group Newcastle Eagles took to the court when they lost 79 – 74 to Nottingham Wildcats in the first round of the Betty Cordona Trophy at home.

That was a disappointing loss for Matt Newby’s team as it has meant no game time to wipe that result from the memories. However, Newby is optimistic that his charges are ready for tonight’s return to Women’s British Basketball League Championship action.

Lauren Saiki and co will be looking to bounce back with a win in the league tonight. (Photos: Gary Forster)

“Our last training session was positive. The girls are chomping at the bit to get back on the floor as it’s been quite a long period of time without a competitive game. There’s only so many times you can scrimmage against each other.”

“You want to be competing against the other teams in The League. The time off has given us some time to address some of the things that we weren’t satisfied with and we’re getting there.”

“It’s given us time to connect the dots with the personnel that came in just before Christmas. But the reality is matching up in game play is what is going to make us better and take us forward.”

It will be a tough task for The Eagles even though they are at home in the Vertu Motors Arena. Essex Rebels come into town having given the all-conquering London Lions a good game in last weekend’s Betty Cordona Trophy Final.

They also have a 5 wins 3 losses record so far in The League this season and Newby feels they are a very good all-round outfit.

“Essex are arguably a top four team. Their Trophy Final performance was very, very good and they were in that game for the most part. Credit to Coach Ashley Cookson for that and the roster he’s put together and credit to the Management at Essex for backing him.”

“They’re a strong unit, formidable and well balanced and they’re beginning to flow at the right time of the year. Being in the Trophy final will have given them confidence to close out the regular season in a positive fashion looking to secure that home berth in the play-offs.”

As strong as Essex look both on paper and translating that on to the court Newby still feels the key to any game at the moment is about themselves as a team.

“It is about us for me. We had the change-up before Christmas and then unfortunately lost that Nottingham game giving us quite a gap between fixtures. I think for us it’s about finding our rhythm and our flow executing offensively and defensively.”

“We need to put together more minutes in a game where we are connected. Right now we’re probably a 20-minute team and at this time of the year we need to be a 35-minute team. I think Essex are exactly that right now.”

Despite it being February now there’s still over half a season to go for The Eagles Women in terms of games to play. Something Newby and his team are looking forward too.

“That is the exciting part. If you’re a player it’s going to come fast and furious. We have almost two-thirds of the season to play in 12 weeks! It’s going to be an interesting one. Each game brings learning and each game will challenge our potential  and hopefully each game we’ll get better.”

Tip-off for tonight’s attractive looking encounter at The Vertu Motors Arena is at 7:30pm and it’ll be great to see The Eagles flying on to court after such a long break.

Tickets still available to book in advance from the box office or to buy on the door and the game is live on the Women’s British Basketball League YouTube channel.