Basketball: Eagles soar with new US arrivals

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The Independent Online
The transfer activity surrounding Newcastle Eagles would possibly impress even Kevin Keegan and Rob Andrew. Eagles, a minor component in Sir John Hall's Tyneside sporting dynasty alongside the football and rugby union clubs, signed three players last week and two made an immediate impact.

Rob Phelps and Ralph Blalock, the latest to cross the Atlantic and join the 50 or so Americans earning a fast buck in the English game, totalled 56 points on their joint Budweiser League debut in the Eagles' 83-77 win at the Birmingham Bullets on Saturday. Phelps, a 6ft 5in New Yorker, replaces Charlie Mandt, who is on a weekly contract.

Blalock added 25 points and Phelps 17 more in last night's 113-103 League win over Chester Jets, for whom Russ Saunders scored 31 to become the League's first player to score more than 8,000 points. The Sheffield Sharks opened a two-point lead with their 101-78 victory against Hemel Royals.

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