A defeat is never an easy thing to take but in a round robin Cup group when you’ve already won your first two games, it’s a little bit easier to take. Especially when you can take some positives out of the game to build on.
That was the case for Newcastle Eagles after their 73-71 loss to Glasgow Rocks in an exciting game that took overtime to settle it. The Eagles lost Mike Morsell, who had been their high scorer in the win at Glasgow the previous Sunday, through injury during the game and it made a difference.
Add in the unavailability of Kai Williams and it’s easy to see how they struggled. But the positives came from the first Eagles appearances in a competitive fixture of Nick Schlitzer and Sade Aded Hussein. The 6’10” Frenchman, Hussein, was philosophical after the game.
“You should always be disappointed with a defeat but this was a tough one. It was a close game with the overtime. We had the space to take the win at home but didn’t manage to do it so there is always disappointment in that.”
The Eagles fans have been waiting patiently to see what Hussein can bring to the roster after he got injured early in the team’s first preseason fixture. Seven points, a huge seventeen rebounds and three blocked shots in over 33 minutes of game time suggests he can bring a lot.
“From my perspective it was my first game after just a week of practice so I was really happy to go there no matter how I played. Just to be able to come back in a game situation in that game and with our guys it was really a good time for me.”
“I’m never pleased with any of my performances I always find something to say about what I do and what I could do better. It was definitely tough for me with that game’s intensity, just coming back, playing lots of minutes and overtime too.”
“I was really happy with some of it and when I looked back, I thought it wasn’t too bad for a first game. I recovered from it really great and I really feel I’m good right now to do these two games this weekend.”
For the Eagles coaching staff, his teammates and the fans that’s really good to hear with Newcastle facing two really tough games on the road this weekend.
They go to the unbeaten Leicester Riders on Friday night and then have little recovery time before travelling to Cheshire Phoenix on Sunday afternoon. Games which will signal them being halfway through the qualifying campaign but Hussein is ready for the challenge.
“It is going to be tough, especially two games on the road but I think we have the team to grab the two wins and then come back home for a good week of practice before the next home game.
At the moment though Hussein is settling into life in Newcastle and getting used to his surroundings and circumstances which he’s very much enjoying.
“The Club is really professional. They put us in the situation where we only have to care about basketball. So, it’s all good. The city is great, the weather until this week has been really nice. I was not expecting this much sun. So, yes, it’s all good, very good.”
You can watch both this weekend’s away games live on the BBL’s YouTube Channel: