Cheshire Phoenix vs Newcastle Eagles – Preview

by Vlad Ionasc

Cheshire Phoenix will host the Newcastle Eagles in the first leg of the BBL Trophy Semi-Final on Sunday evening (5:30pm).


Date: Sunday, February 9th 2020

Tip-off: 5:30pm

Competition: BBL Trophy

Where: ESPV

How to watch: BBL’s official YouTube channel


Photo by JS Sport

The Eagles booked their place in the Semi-Final stage of the Trophy after a categorical 72-point triumph against Dunfermline Reign and a seven-point victory over the Sheffield Sharks.

The Geordies have won five out of their first seven games in 2020 and have also lost just one out of their last five games on the road.

Newcastle sit third in the regular-season standings, on a 5-3 record. Ian Macleod’s men were knocked out of the BBL Cup in the Quarter Finals by the eventual winners of the competition, the Worcester Wolves.

The Eagles lead the season series 2-1, having already secured a 100-92 victory at the ESPV back in early October.


Photo by JS Sport

Newcastle Eagles: C.J Gettys – The former Phoenix big-man will return to the ESPV for the first time on Sunday night. He has been in stellar form ever since he signed for Newcastle back in November. Gettys was named the BBL Player of the Month in December. He’s averaging a league-leading 24.7 points-per-game alongside 13.2 rebounds-per-game. Michael Ochereobia will have a big job on his hands trying to limit Gettys. Newcastle’s center has been a walking double-double ever since he returned to the British game.

Cheshire Phoenix: Demonte Flannigan – Cheshire’s forward tallied a game-high 24 points paired with 11 rebounds in Phoenix’s last meeting against the Eagles. Flannigan had an underwhelming start to his Phoenix career, however, over the past two months, he has found his footing. He’s averaging 12.3 points and 7.3 rebounds-per-game on 53/50/83 shooting splits. It’s vital that he builds on his fine form in the first leg of the Semi-Final. Flannigan, Ochereobia and Jalen Hayes will have to be locked in on defense and dominant on the glass in order to slow down the 7’0 Gettys and provide the Nix with crucial defensive stops and second-chance opportunities on the other end of the floor.


Photo by Adam Day

Ben Thomas: “Preparation for Newcastle has to be important, it’s the first leg of the Semi-Final, it’s our home-leg so we need to make it count. We all have to be on the same page.

“We know C.J. very well. He’s probably one of the best bigs in the league, offensively. Mike (Ochereobia) is a different type of player, he’s very defensive-minded, very physical. He knows how important his role is going into Sunday’s game, but everybody else has a role to play as well in limiting Gettys’ touches around the basket.”


The Nix will return to the ESPV on the 16th of February when they’ll entertain the Glasgow Rocks in the BBL Championship. Secure your TICKETS now!


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