The Springfield Honda Newcastle Eagles returned to winning ways in stunning style yesterday by ending the home side's 100% start to the season.
Jeremy Hyatt was restored to his usual position in the starting five alongside Fabulous Flournoy, Darius Defoe, TJ Walker and Shawan Robinson. This meant Olu Babalola dropping down to the bench where many feel he can be used with more effect.
The Eagles won the first quarter 26-19 to establish a lead they never relinquished. The period had been tight throughout until Robinson collected a defensive rebound.
He swished a superb buzzer-beating three point shot from well inside his own half to give his side their seven-point lead.
The second ten minutes saw Newcastle control the tempo of the game. Showing their usual defensive tenacity and more consistent offence, they extended their lead.
Walker and Hyatt were prominent and with Robinson continuing to score freely they took the quarter by nine points to take a 55-39 lead into the locker room at half time.
In the third quarter, typical tough pressure defence from the Eagles locked down the home shooters and prevented the Heat from mounting a comeback.
Newcastle led the way again winning the period 21-15 to give themselves a 22-point cushion.
It was a cushion they needed as Guildford produced a 16-2 run in the first seven minutes of to cut the Eagles lead to eight at 78-70.
However the effort blew the fire out of the Heat and it was Flournoy's men who steadied the ship with a closing 7-2 run.
This was a much-improved all-round team performance from the Eagles, who went back to last season's play book particularly on defence where they fronted their men all night. It was the imports that led the way with the scoring but a special mention also goes to young Englishman Defoe who scored nine points and had 12 rebounds in 29 minutes of play.
For the Heat, Michael Martin topped their scoring charts with 17 points and adding 19 rebounds as well.
But his team mates were unable to support him as well as the Eagles supported each other as they fired a warning shot to the rest of the BBL.
Next up for the Eagles is a home game against BBL new boys Worcester Wolves at the Metro Radio Arena on Friday October 27 (tip-off 7.30pm).