After yesterday’s thrilling victory over Worcester Wolves in the BBL Playoff quarter-finals, the Jets will face BBL Champions Newcastle Eagles in the semi-finals of the BBL Playoffs. The away leg will be played in Newcastle on Friday, with the return leg at the Northgate on Sunday:
Jets @ Eagles – Friday 4th May @ 7.30pm
Jets v Eagles – Sunday 6th May @ 5.30pm
The BBL Champions, Newcastle Eagles, have lost three games in a row after going down 81-96 at home to the Cheshire Jets, who themselves have won three in a row and five of their last six as they chase sixth spot in the BBL Championship table – they can secure that with a win over the One Health Sharks Sheffield on Sunday. [read more]
Newly crowned BBL regular season champions Newcastle Eagles finish their regular season home campaign tonight when as the Jets visit Sport Central.
It will be Jets’ first trip to Newcastle this season, although the teams could yet meet in the play-off quarter-final. Eagles have had contrasting wins in the two meetings at Northgate Arena earlier in the campaign, winning 78-74 in November and 95-82 three months later.
While the Eagles are assured of top spot, Jets – who go into the weekend with an 11-17 record – can finish anywhere between sixth and eighth, and they will need to surprise Newcastle on their own court if they are to get the higher post-season seed. [read more]
THIRTEEN proved a lucky number for the Cheshire Jets against Newcastle Eagles as their 13-point home defeat on Sunday could have been a lot more.
In the opening quarter they were torn open by the three-point shooting of Andrew Thompson, who gave head coach Fabulous Flournoy an amazing platform on which to build another victory for the BBL Championship leaders.
But in the final quarter the Jets came back at their visitors, giving them a small reminder that when they apply themselves, the Northgate Arena outfit are a side everyone will want to avoid should they make the play-offs.
TOMO SHOOTS DOWN JETS
If you just take a quick glance at the game result, a thirteen point gap between the league leaders and a team vying for a play-off place doesn’t seem too bad – but a 25 -8 final quarter in favour of the Jets disguises what head-coach John Lavery said “felt like a 40 -50 point blow-out” – which indeed it looked as though it might be when Eagles led by 36 points into the third quarter!
The problems for the Jets started in the first period, as ex-Mersey Tigers and Manchester Magic forward Andrew Thomson individually amassed more individual points than the whole Jets team [21-20] – including a faultless 5/5 from behind the arc. Coach Lavery bemoaned his team’s lack of defensive intensity and general desire – but most of the Northgate faithful on the bleachers just admired the visitors’ capacity to knock down such a high proportion of their shops from all points on the court – they racked up 36 in the quarter – and 21 of those were from downtown!
In the second quarter Jets managed to step up the defence – a mark of their improvement was that Thomson added only one to his tally of triples in the period and Bill Cole brought a brief smile to Jets’ followers with a personal haul of 14 out of his team’s 21 – but the gap at the time when the locker room beckoned was a formidable twenty two – not far from Thomson’s individual haul!
If there was to any chance of a miraculous comeback, it would have to have been primed by an explosive start by the Jets to the second half, in the hope of building a momentum which would turn the game around – but it was not to be! In fact, if anything they produced one of the most ineffectual quarters offensively in recent memory. They scraped together eleven points – of which skipper Colin O’Reilly claimed six! The Eagles meanwhile kept up the pressure with 23 of their own , with Chapman, Gause and Charles Smith all contributing treys and Thomson actually missing one and breaking his hot streak! At 46 -82 in mid-quarter the die was well and truly cast – there was clearly no way back!
With only pride to play for, the Jets finally rediscovered their intensity and their fire – and the final quarter was truly one-way traffic with the home team in the driving seat! Whereas previously the Eagles could scarcely find a way to miss a shot – suddenly they could not buy a basket [they only put the ball through the hoop three times in the period, while Adam Brown hit 11 and Bill Cole claimed 9 personal. Even given the natural inclination of a team so far ahead to take the foot off the gas, the Jets defence was strong and shot selection was vastly improved on that from earlier in the game. In the end, the Jets achieved the semblance of respectability, but it could not fully conceal how ineffective they had ben throughout the majority of the game.
So were there any positives to be gained for John Lavery’s team? Possibly so, with some individual performances; Bill Cole picked up another impressive double double [ 26p /12r], as did Matt Schneck [10/14] and Colin O’Reilly was only a rebound away from joining them [ 19/9]. New signing Kai Williams looked as though he might make a significant contribution once he gets to know his team mates better – but the harsh fact of the matter is that unless they can consistently produce the same level of intensity at both ends of the court as they displayed in the final quarter, they will struggle to make the play-offs – and that would definitely rank as an underachievement for a team of this talent!
Newcastle Eagles continued their progress to regaining the BBL Championship with a comfortable 95-82 win at Cheshire Jets.
The match seemed to be over at the end of the third quarter with Eagles leading 87-53 but Jets limited the visitors to just eight final stanza points to make the margin more respectable.
Earlier the Eagles had moved out to an 18-12 lead before stretching their advantage to 36-20 after 10 minutes – Andrew Thomson (pictured) scored 21 points including five of five three pointers in this spell on his return to the north-west.
Newcastle made nine of nine three point shots to be 41-26 on top early in the second quarter before ending the half with a healthy 64-42 lead.
And they expanded their advantage to over 30 points by the end of the third quarter, which allowed Eagles player-coach Fab Flournoy the luxury of giving his bench players some time on court.
The Jets will look to continue the form which saw them record a stunning win against Glasgow Rocks last Sunday when they host BBL Championship leaders Newcastle Eagles.
Jets’ coach John Lavery knows the size of the task facing his team on Sunday evening as they prepare to face the league leaders: “They are flying high at the moment, they only have one league loss. [read more]
Newcastle Eagles completed their best ever start to a BBL league season to regain outright control at the summit of the BBL Championship table after fighting back from a 15 point deficit at Cheshire Jets. [read more]