Blogs & Opinion


Golden Eagles

Daniel Routledge watched Newcastle win the BBL Trophy final

Daniel Routledge Posted 29th March 2012 view comments

Well, sooner or later, we all get lucky and give off the impression of being able to predict sport.

Last week I said the Raiders had to match the Eagles from the three-point line and shoot in the 70s from the foul line if they were to defend their nine-point lead in the BBL Trophy final.

The box score read Eagles 10-for-25 from behind the arc, Raiders 3-for-23 and Plymouth 9-of-16 from the line for a lowly 56 per cent.

The Newcastle Eagles cllinched the BBL Trophy. Credit: Dave Lowerson

The Newcastle Eagles cllinched the BBL Trophy. Credit: Dave Lowerson

The game would be won and lost from 15 and 22 feet, I boldly predicted, and lo the Eagles won it from 22-feet and the Raiders lost it from 15.

So whilst I bask in the reflective glow of being right for once, let me just 'fess up for a second, I didn't expect that whatsoever!

When I said Plymouth had to shoot well from the line, I meant Paul Williams, Lehmon Colbert, Anthony Rowe, Anthony Martin and Jamal Williams. Michael Ojo, I figured, well, that's just a guarantee.

Pressure

But pressure, and 3,000 baying Geordies, can do funny things to even the best of them from the foul line. With a minute to play and his team down four on aggregate, Ojo went to the stripe for three freebies.

Well done to the Eagles, Fab Flournoy is one of the nicest, yet most fiercely competitive people I've ever come across in British basketball, and his single-mindedness is a factor in their dominance

Daniel Routledge
Quotes of the week

A guy who's missed six in the league all season, who is third in the BBL at the best part of 90%, drew iron on the first two. Who'd have thunk it? Not me that's for sure.

And what about Paul Williams on the break, even under pressure he'll finish for you? Well, if not, an open put-back for James Jones is a given right? Or Ojo, in the corner for three, where surely most of his third in the league 40 per cent three-pointers are made? Err, no, no and no.

That is why we play the game. Because no matter what those of us who've watched this league for 30-something years may think, we don't know what will happen. Plymouth had their chances down the stretch, irrespective of their woes from 15 and 22 feet, but, agonisingly for them, they couldn't take them.

I feel bad for them. I like Plymouth, it's one of my favourite venues in the BBL and they have a squad so skilled this year you feel they should surely win something. I feel especially bad for a guy like Rowe who, if not for his talent, would doubtless have been in the crowd at Sports Central in a green shirt cheering on his hometown team.

It's hard not to root for the kid who became captain of the team he supported as a boy. But alas, it was not meant to be in the cup or the trophy this season.

They still have a chance to end the season on a high, however, and who would bet against them meeting the Eagles again at some stage in the play-offs?

Dominance

Well done to the Eagles, Fab Flournoy is one of the nicest, yet most fiercely competitive people I've ever come across in British basketball, and his single-mindedness is surely a significant factor in their dominance of the game in recent years.

And, unlike some of his players, he rocked that beard too. The Eagles decided to boycott the razor until the trophy was secured, but Fab made the facial hair look good!

This weekend is a pivotal one in the battle to finish runner-up behind the Eagles in the league. Leicester host Worcester on Friday night and then go to Plymouth on Sunday.

If Riders win both then they are in with a shout of second, lose them both and it's likely a two way battle between the Wolves and the Raiders. It will be a real weekend of contrast for Rob Paternostro's team.

To beat the Wolves they'll have to control Worcester's outstanding three-point threat, whereas they'll have to slow the Raiders frontline to claim a win in Plymouth.

back to top

Other Basketball Experts:

Latest Posts in Basketball:

Alex Ferguson

King James reigns

Alex Ferguson celebrates a wacky, smile-inducing year in US sport - and salutes Miami's LeBron James....

comments

Alex Ferguson

Call of the century

Spacemen Portland pick Bowie over Jordan - Alex Ferguson ranks the biggest decisions in US Sport....

comments

Alex Ferguson

Independence aces

Alex Ferguson kicks off his Independence Day fun by picking his 20 best bits of American sport....

comments

Latest News RSS feeds

BBL: Sharks see off Wolves

One Health Sharks Sheffield remain in the hunt to finish second following an 86-76 triumph over Worcester Wolves.

No British Basketball appeal

British Basketball has decided not to launch a formal appeal against UK Sport's decision to withdraw its funding.

NBA: Record win for Clippers

Los Angeles Clippers beat the Denver Nuggets to register their franchise-record 57th win of the NBA season.

NBA: Heat concede top spot

The Miami Heat suffer defeat to the Washington Wizards after opting to rest their star players.

NBA: Grizzlies to face Suns

The Memphis Grizzlies set up a Western Conference showdown with Phoenix on Monday after beating the Los Angeles Lakers.

Features

NCAA Championship: the only certainty in March Madness is uncertainty

NCAA Championship: the only certainty in March Madness is uncertainty

"Human madness is oftentimes a cunning and most feline thing. When you think it fled, it may have but become transfigured into some still subtler form." Herman Melville

Good Week/Bad Week

Good Week/Bad Week

Another action-packed week of sport has come and gone and it was an excitable group of American Footballers from Seattle who grabbed the headlines with their Super Bowl heroics.

An NBA franchise over here will never work, says Alex Ferguson

An NBA franchise over here will never work, says Alex Ferguson

The NBA had its annual trip to London this year, with the Brooklyn Nets playing the Atlanta Hawks at the O2 Arena in London.