Date Time League Season
May 5, 2024 6:00 pm Women's Playoffs Quarter-Final 2023-24

Seriös Group Newcastle Eagles fly into Sheffield today to take on the B. Braun Hatters in the one-off Women’s British Basketball League Playoff Quarter-Final.

The match-up decided after Sheffield finished 3rd in the regular season standings with a 15 wins and 5 losses record whilst Newcastle finished 6th winning 9 and losing 11 of their League games including both contests against Sheffield.

It would appear to be a tall order for Newcastle then to go on the road and come away with a victory that not many are predicting could happen. However, the Eagles do have a few things in their favour as they prepare for the game.

They are in great form having won their last three games of the campaign in April resulting in Head Coach Matt Newby deservedly scooping the Coach of the Month award.

Plus the last time they played Hatters in March at home they only narrowly lost 76 – 74 without star USA Forward Jada Dapaa. Dapaa returned to action following injury in last weekend’s 93 – 49 victory over Manchester Giants.

Netting 16 points and pulling down 13 rebounds in just over 18 minutes game time she showed what she can bring to the Eagles roster. As she previewed the trip to Sheffield Dapaa was clearly looking forward to the game and opportunity to contribute.

“I’m very excited. It’s the first round of playoffs. Its kinda do or die if you win you advance. There’s no second chances so everyone needs to bring their game. I think we’ve had some really good practices this week.”

“We’ve really honed in on the things we’ve being trying to fix all season long. I think over the second part of the season with injuries its been a little bit tough. But we’re gelling a lot of things together this week to get the result we want today.”

Part of that gelling is of course integrating Dapaa into the Eagles rotation so she can show what she can bring to the court. Last week against Manchester was an encouraging sign.

“It was my first game back and things were a little bit rusty. I did what I could out there in the time I had on court. That’s always my goal making the most of my role and doing whatever the team needs me to do to get the job done.”

“I always had hopes to play towards the end of the season. I was hoping that it would have been sooner than it was. I’m healthy now and playoffs are what really matters and I just want to help the team out in any way I can to try and get the W.”

As mentioned Dapaa had to watch from the bench as Sheffield took that close win in March as she continued to rehab from injury. She got a good close look at today’s opposition.

“I thought watching that we were and are capable of playing against them. As long as we bring our A-game and do what we did last time its just a matter of fixing our mistakes from then and honing in on how we’re hoping to come out of the game today.”

“I think it’ll be a great game to watch and we’re making the right adjustments to get that result.”

“I don’t think any one player makes a difference but as long as I can contribute and do what the team needs me to do particularly defensively I definitely can help the team out. Anything else that comes to me during the game is definitely a plus.”

“I think if we all just play for each other. The five on the court and everyone on the bench we’ll hopefully end up going North after the game with the right result.”

Matt Newby will certainly try to utilise Dapaa with the rest of his squad as his team look to cause a real upset and further their season deeper into the playoffs.

The game is free to watch live on the Women’s British Basketball League YouTube channel with the build-up from 5:45pm.