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Luke Bennett

Luke Bennett writes

Posted Thursday, May 3rd 2018

Play-off preview » Newcastle Eagles v Bristol Flyers

Newcastle Eagles (3) v Bristol Flyers (6)
BBL play-off quarter-final first leg
Friday, May 4th 2018 7.30pm
Sport Central

Watch LIVE at Dough Ballers Pizzeria.

Bristol Flyers finished the 2017/18 regular season as the sixth seed with a record of 19-14. As a result, Flyers face the third-seeded Newcastle Eagles in the quarter finals of the BBL play-offs.

Everything you need to know on Friday night’s opponents can be found below.


NEWCASTLE EAGLES

The Newcastle Eagles are thought of as one of the greatest franchises in BBL history. The Tyneside-based club have won more silverware than any other team in the BBL. Their record speaks for itself: seven BBL league titles, six BBL trophies and winners of the play-offs six times.

Despite Eagles’ feverish start, which saw the club rattle off eight straight wins, Newcastle took the foot off the pedal mid-way through the season. Their dip in form effectively surrendered the BBL Championship and gave London Lions the opportunity to steal the second seed. On the last day of the season, Eagles fell to third and set up the quarter finals against Flyers.         


HEAD COACH

Head Coach Fab Flournoy took over coaching responsibilities in the 2003/04 season. Under Flournoy’s command, Newcastle have consistently dominated the top three positions in the BBL; Eagles have never finished lower than third since Flournoy was appointed. The last time Newcastle finished third they went all the way to become BBL play-off champions.

Coach Fab has an in-depth understanding of what it takes to be a successful coach and player. The 6’3 shooting guard was a student at NCAA Division one college McNeese State University and played in the BBL for the Birmingham Bullets and Eagles, respectively.


WHAT THEY SAY

"Being aggregate score, it could come down to a single point over two games, so we need to play hard for the full 80 minutes because we can’t let any sort of lead slip."

Mike Vigor

"It’s just a matter of showing up from the beginning. Our plan is to go out there and win both games."

Daniel Edozie


LAST SEASON

The Newcastle Eagles concluded last season with a second place finish and a BBL Cup final victory over Glasgow Rocks. Although Eagles enjoyed a deep play-off run, beating Bristol Flyers and Worcester Wolves on their way to the final, they eventually lost to the champion Leicester Riders 84-63.


ONE TO WATCH

#55 Jaysean Paige

The play-offs are a different animal, as every possession counts. In order to game plan effectively, the scouting becomes more intense. Coach K will have his eye on multiple players, but will have to pay special attention to Jaysean Paige.

Paige, has been the most devastating offensive force in the BBL this season. The American finished the regular season as the highest scoring player in the league, as he averaged 22.6 points and 5.7 assists per game.

Not only has Paige been phenomenal on the offensive end, but he’s been a nightmare for opposing guards on the defensive end too. The Eagles’ guard hounded the opposition all year long and led the league in steals with 2.3 per game. 


LAST TIME OUT

A second-half capitulation saw Flyers fall to a big defeat away at Newcastle Eagles despite leading by 13 points at the half.

Leslee Smith top scored for Flyers with 24 points but it was Jaysean Paige (32 points) and Saah Nimley (27 points) who made the difference


DID YOU KNOW?

Newcastle Eagles have the most potent offence in the league, scoring the most points per game with 91.6.


WATCH LIVE

Friday's game will be available to watch LIVE on the big screen at Dough Ballers Pizzeria.

Join fellow Flyers fans and cheer on the team at Ashton Gate Stadium, as Coach Kapoulas’ men look to bring a great result back to the WISE Arena for the home leg on Sunday, May 6th.

FULL DETAILS