Eagles stay cool to re-Heat campaign

Newcastle Eagles shrugged off the bitter disappointment of Friday's overtime loss to the Scottish Rocks with a super 85-72 road win against the previously unbeaten Guildford Heat to get their season back on track.

Newcastle Eagles shrugged off the bitter disappointment of Friday's overtime loss to the Scottish Rocks with a super 85-72 road win against the previously unbeaten Guildford Heat to get their season back on track.

Player-coach Fab Flournoy had his side in the changing rooms for quite some time after the Rocks defeat and whatever was said certainly did the trick, with his side producing an impressive team performance at the Spectrum Centre.

Guard Andrew Bridge (pictured right) explained the determination of the players to bounce back after Friday's result.

He said: "We haven't really felt any pressure at all from the fans or been concerned about our 1-3 record.

"The only pressure we ever felt was the pressure that we put on each other as team-mates because we always set ourselves the highest standards.

"After the disappointment of losing to the Rocks we sat down and talked for some time about what we needed to do to put things right.

"During my time at the club we have had really bad injuries and have been in situations where we had no right to win games but still came through.

"Sometimes people forget that it is just far too early in the season to worry about things.

"What we have in the side right now is the likes of Jeremy (Hyatt), who brings us added experience, and that means we have a bunch of players who have all been in a lot worse situations than simply worrying that we might lose another game."

Once again it was new boy Shawan Robinson who led the way with yet another impressive performance to collect a game-high 23 points, including a sensational buzzer-beater from inside his own half.

However, this was the game when Jeremy Hyatt truly announced his return to British basketball.

Hyatt hit 21 points and helped the Eagles to a blistering start that saw them take control from the outset. They led 26-19 after the opening period and, by the time they increased their advantage to as many as 20 early in the second half, the game was effectively over.

Bridge was quick to praise Hyatt for his contribution but has warned fans that it is still too early in the season to truly assess their chances of successfully defending their BBL title.

"Everyone played their part and Jeremy had a really solid game. He made some shots early and that helped both him and the team because it was tough for him last Friday after only coming in the day before," he said.

"Picking up this win is great but that doesn't mean a lot because at this stage you have only played a few teams and everyone is just feeling each other out.

"The more games we play together the stronger we will become, but, like most people, I expect it is going to be a really close league all year and we won't know where we are at until probably 10 or 15 games in."

GUILDFORD HEAT: Martin 17, Williams 16, Dux 13. NEWCASTLE: Robinson 23, Hyatt 21, Walker 15.

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