Newcastle Eagles 78 Worcester Wolves 90: Fab could quit after play-off heartache

Newcastle Eagles coach Fab Flournoy saw his dreams of lifting the play-off trophy dashed by Worcester Wolves reports Paul Nilsen

Mansoor Ahmed/Ahmedphotos Fabulous Flournoy is dejected at the final buzzer as his side lose out at the 2014 BBL playoff final between the Newcastle Eagles and Worcester Wolves
Fabulous Flournoy is dejected at the final buzzer as his side lose out at the 2014 BBL playoff final between the Newcastle Eagles and Worcester Wolves

Fab Flournoy has refused to commit his future to Newcastle Eagles after his team signed off their campaign with a disappointing day at Wembley Arena by crashing 90-78 to Worcester Wolves in the BBL Play-off final, writes.

After failing to fire on all cylinders last season against Leicester, it was a similar story 12 months later for the Eagles as they were undone by the sublime skills and 30-point performance of recently crowned BBL Player of the Year, Zaire Taylor.

And, while Flournoy may well take solace from having tucked the BBL Championship title back onto the top shelf of the Eagles’ trophy cabinet, he refused to confirm he would remain at the helm.

“I will re-evaluate my own situation as happens with any other player and taking that one step further, I don’t like making any knee-jerk reactions either way,” he declared.

“I will cross that bridge this week when it starts all over again – either with or without me.”

Having made his debut at the season climax way back in 1998 with Birmingham Bullets, it was not the kind of outcome Flournoy had hoped for as he made a record breaking and astonishing tenth appearance at the event.

His team allowed Wolves to take the initiative from the outset as they jumped into a commanding 29-15 first quarter lead, capitalising on a decidedly error strewn first 10 minutes by the Eagles which witnessed six turnovers.

Down by as many as 16 points the Eagles did finally find some rhythm and establish a much-needed foothold in the contest via Darius Defoe, who hit a real purple patch as the North East side came storming back.

But, having hauled themselves to within a point after some vastly improved play at both ends of the court, Taylor decided to take the game by the scruff of the neck and basically took over for the Wolves.

The playmaker firstly made a major statement of intent as he nonchalantly drained a three-pointer on the half-time buzzer, before returning to majestically orchestrate a devastating 17-0 Wolves run – and one which left Eagles’ hopes hanging by the finest of threads.

It was his successive fast-break scores which hammered more than just the first nail into the coffin as Worcester surged into a 21 point advantage late in the third quarter, with the Eagles in complete disarray.

A lack of focus and composure was evident as the Wolves’ defence and killer-touch of Taylor took the game way out of reach of the Eagles, along with their impressive depth which provided a number of very important cameos. While the Eagles’ tail did wag a little after successive triples from Charles Smith cut the margin back to single figures which gave the slightest glimmer of hope for a minute or two, the fairytale finish which the magnificent travelling fans craved for wasn’t forthcoming.

It also meant that Flournoy and Co were left staring at the unwanted record of having lost their last four showpiece BBL Finals and bemoaning how they had failed to once again do themselves justice in North London.

Newcastle: Defoe 22, Smith 17, Martin/Gause 13

Worcester: Taylor 30, Creekmore 14, Irving 14, Williams 14, Owumi 14

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