Basketball: Eagles seek solace in tilt at Trophy

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The Independent Online

Sheffield Sharks and Newcastle Eagles spend most weekends intent on chasing the BBL Championship leaders Guildford Heat, but they have their own score to settle tomorrow in the semi-finals of the BBL Trophy at Ponds Forge.

Newcastle, who won all four titles last season, have already lost the BBL Cup to Guildford and with their hopes of retaining the Championship receding after last night's 77-73 home defeat by Scottish Rocks, have set their sights on hanging on to the Trophy.

In the final, Sharks or Eagles will face Plymouth Raiders, who won their semi-final 83-64 against Leicester Riders last night.

The Newcastle player-coach Fab Flournoy is desperate to repeat last season's success. "It won't make or break our season, but it is the first title we won and this gives a great chance to win something again."

The Sharks coach Peter Scantlebury said: "It couldn't be a harder test, but we are at home and have to use that to our advantage."

Sheffield, Newcastle and Guildford have each won 16 games in the Championship but the Heat, who host Milton Keynes tomorrow, hold the edge from having played fewer fixtures.