Date Time League Season
May 10, 2024 7:30 pm Men's Playoffs Semi-Finals 2023-24

Jordan Johnson has launched a passionate rallying call ahead of this weekend’s semi-final action after insisting it’s time to grow a legendary legacy.

Under Fabulous Flournoy, Seriös Group Newcastle Eagles became the dominant force in British basketball — scooping up every major honour multiple times.

And All Star Johnson senses the men in black are on the brink of another golden era after admitting it would mean everything to reach this month’s playoff final.

Eagles Men beat Caledonia Gladiators over two legs to reach the semi-final. (Photos: Gary Forster)

League champions London Lions stand between Newcastle and a return to the O2 Arena.

But Johnson said: “Ask any player and they love testing themselves against the best. On league form London are the best.

“They’ve got a lot of great guys on that team and we can’t wait to test ourselves against the best. I love that sense of competition.

“I don’t know how London look at this Newcastle team. They know we’ve beaten them this season but they’ve had the better of us overall. They’ll come up here ready to play.

“It would mean everything to this team to get past London. They’ve won a lot of championships but the Eagles have won more.

“And we want to add another one before the season’s out.”

Johnson has enjoyed an explosive debut season on Tyneside and fans are already wondering whether head coach Marc Steutel can hang on to his prize asset beyond the summer.

Clubs at home and abroad continue to sniff around the prolific scorer and London’s defence will be swarming all over the relentless guard when the semi-final action gets underway at the Vertu Motors Arena tonight (7.35pm tip).

But the Eagles boast more than one offensive weapon with Rickey McGill set to start on the back of making this week’s All Star Five and pacing Newcastle to quarter-final victory against Caledonia last week.

Rickey McGill put in an MVP performance last time out against Gladiators. (Photos: Gary Forster)

Larry Austin Jr, Tajh Green and Josh Ward-Hibbert are all in a rich vein of scoring form and Johnson believes a talented group is finally showing its true potential.

“We’re where we’re supposed to be,” he added. “This is where this team belongs.

“We’ve had a lot of injuries and dealt with a lot of ups and downs but we’ve found our way and we’re clicking at the right time.

“Everybody’s suddenly become a lot more locked in, started paying closer attention to the scout and recognised that the goal that’s always been in front of us is right here now.

“We’re just more bought in than at any time this season.

“Against London we just need to stay poised, play our game and cut out the mistakes. You can’t make errors against the Lions.

“There’s a great vibe around the place right now. Everybody’s cool. We’re brothers. We’re in this together and fighting for each other.”

Game two takes place at the Copper Box Arena on Sunday from 1.35pm and Newcastle are determined to take a 1-0 series lead to the capital.

Playing home first is a huge advantage and Johnson insists a full house can help fire the hosts towards what would be another famous win.

“We need that Newcastle crowd behind us,” he added. “It’s a cliché but they really are our sixth man. We’ve never needed them more.

“It’s fun playing at a packed Vertu Motors Arena. That crowd’s alive! They get into the game from the tip and they’re constantly yelling at us. That fires us up.”

Visit the Box Office for remaining tickets to tonight’s semi-final.