Manchester Giants1718261677Loss

Devin Whitfield wowed another capacity crowd on Tyneside as the fit-again guard burst off the bench to lead the men in black to a fourth straight league win.

Beset by a nagging hamstring injury over the festive period and into the new year, the Serios Group Newcastle Eagles rookie has been a slow burner all season.

But Whitfield finally went off against struggling Manchester Giants — scoring 23 points in 24 minutes to underpin a comfortable 109-77 win.

Eagles cruised to victory against Manchester Giants. (Photos: Gary Forster)

Earlier this week Marc Steutel’s hotly tipped summer signing insisted he’d be ready just as soon as Newcastle’s head coach called his number.

But Whitfield had suggested defence was his primary focus on a roster boasting incredible firepower across the board.

On the night, it was a stunning show from beyond the arc that put Giants to the sword as the 27-year-old went an incredible seven from seven from three-point range.

In fact, Whitfield only missed one basket all night — inexplicably fluffing his lines from the bonus stripe when almost everything else went his way.

The former G Leaguer added seven rebounds and six assists to his game-high haul as the hosts came through a brief first period wobble to dominate the short-handed Giants.

And Whitfield will be a marked man when the Eagles return to action at top four rivals Caledonia Gladiators tomorrow.

As a full-strength roster begins to hit its stride, all 10 senior professionals were on the scoreboard at the half.

And such was the confidence and style at the heart of an eye-catching display, it often felt like the 2024 All-Star Game had come early.

Jordan Johnson and Rickey McGill rolled out a series of highlight reel moves as Newcastle put the game to bed before the break.

Eagles were 21 points ahead at half-time. (Photos: Gary Forster)

Alley-oop finishes from Malcolm Delpeche and Tajh Green helped fuel a party atmosphere inside a rocking Vertu Motors Arena.

And the Giants were regularly cut down to size as Steutel’s myriad rotations had his nonplussed rivals chasing shadows.

The Eagles led 56-35 at the half and hit cruise control during a crowd-pleasing third quarter.

Whitfield’s fourth and fifth triples kept a battling Manchester at bay with three-point specialist Will Neighbour getting in on the act.

With a tough run of fixtures coming up, Steutel was on a mission to manage minutes and build confidence.

Jordan Johnson was one of five Eagle players to hit double figures. (Photos: Gary Forster)

The GB playcaller delivered on both counts with no Newcastle player asked to go beyond 25 minutes ahead of what promises to be a far tougher assignment north of the border.

Such was the hosts’ dominance, there was even time for homegrown hero Sauveur Kande to make a rare appearance down the stretch.

And the Academy product chipped in with a board and a steal during a gutsy two-minute cameo — much to the delight of the Eagles bench.

Five Newcastle stars — including four starters — celebrated double figure hauls and Scott Spencer’s nine points in 11 minutes suggested it won’t be long before the popular swingman follows Whitfield as the latest Eagles late bloomer.