Basketball: High-flying Eagles worry Nurse

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The Independent Online

Brighton Bears and the Newcastle Eagles will square up at The Triangle in a BBL Championship match tonight.

Brighton Bears and the Newcastle Eagles will square up at The Triangle in a BBL Championship match tonight.

Fab Flournoy's Newcastle are second in the championship, two points and two places ahead of Nick Nurse's Bears, whose 19-point win at leaders Chester Jets last Sunday highlighted their inconsistency after earlier defeats against lowly Leicester Riders and Plymouth Raiders.

Newcastle's run of nine championship wins from their last 10 games owes much to Flournoy's playing resources.

"They are far and away the deepest team in the league, playing around nine guys," said Nurse of Newcastle's depth. "They are athletic and quick and have some veterans playing as well as they have done for years." It is a measure of how the Eagles spread their offensive threat that Jeremy Hyatt, averaging 19 points per game, is their only player in the championship's top 20 although the team as a whole are the league's highest scorers at 94 points per game.

Sheffield Sharks moved up to third in the table, level on points with Newcastle, after Thursday night's 87-82 win over Leicester.

In the second-tier English Basketball League, City of Sheffield Arrows, who host Teesside Mohawks tonight, need five wins from their last six games to win their first title.

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