Important date for the Eagles

Today's BBL Trophy Final is without doubt the most important date of the season for the Springfield Honda Newcastle Eagles so far.

Today's BBL Trophy Final is without doubt the most important date of the season for the Springfield Honda Newcastle Eagles so far.

It represents their best chance of retaining one of the four National trophies they won last season with the game being played on their own court at The Metro Radio Arena.

Their opponents in the final are the Kularoo Plymouth Raiders, a side Newcastle have already beaten twice at home this season in the league.

Indeed the Raiders were last on Tyneside just over a week ago with the Eagles coming out on top 99 - 75.

With the BBL Cup already gone, the BBL Championship looking beyond them and the lottery of the end of season play-offs to come, their appearance in today's final could not be more significant.

If the Eagles were to win the Trophy it would be the third year in a row that they've landed it.

It was at Brighton two years ago that Fab Flournoy's men brought the first national title home to Newcastle when they lifted the BBL Trophy. Since then another five titles have followed including last year's incredible sweep of all four domestic honours.

Newcastle go into the game on the back of a thrilling 79-77 overtime win over the MK Lions on Friday night. Such a tough game was not perhaps the ideal way to warm up for this afternoon's clash.

Both teams have injury problems going into the game. Plymouth's huge centre Carlton Aaron is struggling with an ankle injury but with the big man so central to the Raiders game he's expected to play.

For the Eagles, doubts surround the availability of shooting guard Jeremy Hyatt. The American has missed the last two league games as well as a full week's practice and even if he makes the bench is not expected to play a big part in the game.

The event at the Metro Radio Arena starts at 12pm with the EBL Patrons Trophy Final between Bristol Academy Flyers and Leicester Warriors. This is followed at 2.15pm by the EBL Trophy Final which matches up Worthing Thunder against Reading Rockets.

The main event, the BBL Trophy Final, tips-off at 4.30pm and tickets are still available for the whole day.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer