Basketball: Flournoy's Eagles must swoop for two wins

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The Independent Online

The Newcastle Eagles face a defining weekend in their defence of the BBL Championship title. They travel to the joint-leaders Guildford Heat tonight, then host Milton Keynes Lions tomorrow. The Eagles trail the Heat and Sheffield Sharks, who maintained the pressure on Guildford with a 72-66 midweek win away to Plymouth Raiders.

Newcastle's player-coach, Fab Flournoy, knows his team cannot afford a repeat of last week's defeat to Scottish Rocks, which came 48 hours before the Eagles beat Sheffield in the BBL Trophy semi-finals.

He said: "I'm not taking anything away from Rocks when they beat us, but we had our minds on the semi-final against Sheffield. Now we need to concentrate on the Championship before we play in the Trophy final."

That final, against Plymouth, is two weeks away and Flournoy's Championship hopes could have died before then unless his team manages to win at Guildford.

Guildford have already won the BBL Cup, which the Eagles won last season - one of four titles in their clean sweep. Flournoy said: "They are a great team who play well together. It's going to be tough, especially as we have to travel back after the game to play again 24 hours later."