FAB Flournoy is a happy man. The Newcastle Eagles coach is well known for being a hard taskmaster but couldn’t hide his delight at his side’s return to form, writes .
Last Friday’s 96-76 win over Manchester Giants kept the Eagles in contention at the top of the British Basketball League table. Coming on the back of a difficult week’s preparations, Flournoy was impressed with the performance.
He said: “I have to give the guys a lot of credit for the way they played.
“It was a horrible week’s preparation for the game for various reasons.
“With practice being disrupted and at different times and then all the community work they’ve put in they could have come in feeling unprepared.
“I have not been able to give them my full attention or what they needed to get up for the game but they did themselves and me proud with their efforts.
“I said before the game that, despite everything that had happened during the week, I wanted no excuses and they responded to that.
“We had a great scouting report on Manchester, we knew what we had to do defensively and I thought they all did a great job of sticking to their defensive roles and then executing on offence.
“We ran them off the three-point line because we knew that is where they’re dangerous and we knew they couldn’t score enough two’s to beat us – and so it proved.”
He added: “The one thing I was pleased with was our energy.
“Manchester is a team which plays with a lot of energy and you have to match that and put it all on the line. We did that from the get-go and that made it all the easier as the game wore on.
“I thought our big guys were terrific and our guards gave us what we needed with Joe Chapman and Charles Smith just doing what they do best.
“When it all comes together like that we’re a great team and that’s what we need to do keep on doing. We need to pound away each and every game beccause when you’re the Newcastle Eagles you’re everybody else’s Cup final.
“You have to be ready for the level of intensity and energy they’re going to bring and we were ready.
“Now we have two weeks off before we start a tough stretch of games.
“Ideally I don’t like having any time off games but the schedule is what it is and we have to live with it.
“I’ve told the guys to take a few days off as we’ve had a lot of things going on and they need the rest.
“I’ve also warned them not to take it too easy and lapse in to a comfort zone.
“Sure, I want them to enjoy themselves but I also want them to remember they’re professional sportsmen and they have to be ready for when we come back to work and need to re-focus our energy on basketball.”