Cheshire Phoenix vs Newcastle Eagles – PREVIEW
by Vlad Ionasc
Cheshire Phoenix (12-12) will end their four-game home stand when they host the Newcastle Eagles (15-8) at the Cheshire Oaks Arena on Sunday March 24th.
The Nix will come into the game full of confidence after their fourth quarter turnaround against the Sharks, but the visitors will provide stern competition. They possess one of the best records in the league and have already triumphed in the two previous meetings against the Nix. The home side will have the advantage of being more refreshed, as the Eagles host the Bristol Flyers less than 48 hours before travelling to Cheshire.
Rahmon Fletcher, of the Eagles, is currently leading the league in assists, with 9.4 per game. Ex-Phoenix player, Victor Moses has been a prolific scorer for the Eagles this season, averaging 18 points per game on 59% FG. The forward is regarded as one of the best two-way players in the league as he is also averaging 1.4 blocks a game, second in the league only to Kervin Bristol.
Momcilo Latinovic had a monster 28-point performance against the Sharks which included six made threes. Ben Thomas will be looking for more of the same from his shooting-guard on Sunday. C.J Gettys also had a nice stat-line of 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists. His ability to crash the glass has showed up on the stat sheet this season, he’s averaging the second most rebounds per game. Dii-Jon Allen-Jordan will have a crucial role to play against the Eagles, he will be tasked with intercepting & pick-pocketing Eagles playmaker, Fletcher. The forward has done an excellent job at that this season, he ranks second in steals per game.
A win for the Phoenix would give Ben Thomas’ team a nice boost in their pursuit of a top-8 finish, while a loss for the Eagles wouldn’t be the end of the world as they have all but mathematically secured a play-off berth, however the visitors would slip to 5-5 in their last 10 games, which would be a worrying sight for coach Fabulous Flournoy, especially this close to the play-offs.
BRING THE NOISE! GO PHOENIX!