Paul Gause reckons Newcastle Eagles are “battle-ready” for their Wembley showdown with Worcester Wolves.
Tomorrow sees Fab Flourony’s Eagles in the play-off final, the culmination of nine months’ hard work for the Eagles.
Defeat of the Wolves would be the icing on the cake for Newcastle, who have clinched the title and only lost twice since the turn of the year.
Gause has been right at the centre of it and reckons the secret to Newcastle’s success has been the fact every weekend since Christmas has been virtually sudden death for the Eagles.
With four teams battling it out at the top of the BBL and all of the leading sides taking games off each other in the early months of the season, they could not afford to lose.
That attitude should serve them well on Sunday, the Eagles point guard reckons.
He said: “I feel like the league is better top to bottom.
“We had four or five teams early on and then it boiled down to us and Leicester and Sheffield and whoever lost was going to be out for the title.
“The stretch we went on to win the league and the type of basketball we have played has been great.
“Arguably the toughest part of our season was the second part of it and for us to lose just one game during that stretch was amazing.
“If you had asked us if that was going to happen we would have found it difficult to predict.
“We have had to win close games and to battle and be battle-tested.
“We can just take that into Wembley and hopefully it really prepares us for Sunday.”
It helps the Eagles have BBL coach of the year Flournoy and his trusted assistant Dave Forrester to conjure up a game plan to unseat a formidable Worcester at Wembley.
Along with newly-promoted coach Ian MacLeod, the trio have formed a formidable brains trust for the Eagles and after coming up with a game plan to beat last season’s dominant force Leicester Riders they will be fancied to do the same to Paul James’ Worcester.
Gause is in confident mood. He added: “With those brains behind it you can be sure we will be devising a brilliant strategy to win the game.
“Each team in this league has their own personality and Worcester is a completely different challenge to Leicester in my eyes.
“Worcester are a strong team. They have Taylor, Creekmore and they have a deep bench.
“It is going to be an interesting game but we feel we are prepared well for any team in the league. If we stick to our game plan for this one we will give ourselves as good a shot at winning the game as we possibly can and we can go on and win the game.”
Gause has been a revelation himself this season and Eagles supporters would dearly love to see the point guard back at Sport Central next season if a deal can be done.
The New Jersey native is keeping his cards close to his chest and says he will try to settle the season before moving on to worrying about his future.
The Journal understands talks on player contracts will begin next week, when the Eagles’ play-off campaign has reached its conclusion.
Gause said: “There haven’t been any talks about next year yet. You always want to finish the best you possibly can for this year and it’s not over yet.
“We still have one more game which is a big game for us.
“You have to practice and prepare for that and I am not worried about the summer yet.
“That will take care of itself. I will go into the summer with an open mind and I’m not too worried about what is going to happen.
“This has been a team where every player on it just wants to do what is best and that is what Sunday is about. You don’t want to talk too much about it until after we have had the chance to play on Sunday.”