Basketball: Flournoy's 'injured' trio flourish to flatten Mohawks

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The Independent Online

The next time Newcastle Eagles' coach, Fab Flournoy, wails about his club's latest injury crisis, his fellow BBL coaches might tell him where to stick his sob story.

In the build-up to Saturday night's must-win BBL Trophy group qualifying game against the National League side Teesside Mohawks, Flournoy ruled out three of his American players: Shawn Myers, Jeremy Hyatt and Charles Smith.

In fact all three played in the 124-85 mismatch, which meant qualification for the semi-finals depended on Eagles' final group game against Scottish Rocks in Glasgow last night.

Flournoy had said that Myers, suffering with broken and dislocated fingers on separate hands, would be out until the first or second week of January. He added that Hyatt (groin and hamstring) would not play for three weeks, while Smith (knee injury) was struggling and "would probably be out again".

Smith struggled his way to 32 points, Myers scored 18 and Hyatt hit a few three-pointers as Mohawks were swept aside 40-15 in the first quarter.

Mohawks' coach, Tony Hanson, was left wondering why Flournoy bothered with his deception, considering he knew his NBL team would be without their two Americans and the former England veteran Carl Miller for a fixture which neither club treated with much respect.

While Miller was understandably absent due to family illness, EJ Harrison and John Tresvant just wanted time off at Christmas, so Eagles were virtually assured of victory whomever Flournoy put out on the floor.

In the BBL Championship there was more credibility on show at Crystal Palace where Brighton Bears beat London Towers 93-89 to climb to second in the table, four points behind the leaders, Sheffield Sharks, with two games in hand.

Yorick Williams and Rico Alderson scored 17 each as Brighton hit 17 unanswered points either side of the break to lead 79-61 early in the fourth quarter.