DAMON Huffman has warned the BBL Newcastle Eagles’ confidence and momentum is snow-balling.
The star of last weekend’s double victory over title rivals London Lions and Surrey Heat believes the Eagles are in good shape to continue their tradition of getting stronger as the year progresses, which has been a feature of Fab Flournoy’s time in charge.
It is usually around Christmas the Eagles start to click into gear and new players start to find their feet – although to be fair, that has not been a problem for their new point guard who has already established himself as a vital cog in the Newcastle machine.
They take on Manchester Giants tonight in their final fixture before the festive break, the Eagles only returning to action for the short trip to Durham Wildcats for a December 30 derby clash.
Huffman expects that to be the start of a run which will take them to more silverware and success.
He said: “We have seen the potential we can play at if the guys are all playing together and playing well.
“The more we play together – and we have new guys in the team – the more you see us all buying into the philosophy of the coach and the more confidence we have in each other.
“I think we are gearing up for a big 2013 and we are coming together as a team at exactly the right time.
“Hopefully, we can take that on in the New Year and move forward.”
Flournoy will be delighted to count on Huffman again this weekend after his terrific display in the Lions win last weekend.
He scored 36 in a wonderful all-round performance which earned praise from Charles Smith, who called him the “best point guard” in the BBL.
Huffman added: “Any time you receive praise from your fellow professionals is gratifying and when you get it from a guy like Charles who has been there and done it in the BBL it is even better.
“It would be even better if it came with a championship or medal attached to it.
“It feels great to know your team-mates have your back but there is still a long way to go this season and there is a lot of basketball which needs to be played.
“So it is satisfying to see my name mentioned with those kind of things, but I want to keep going now and help the team to win more.”
The challenge tonight is Manchester Giants, who have fallen away slightly after an eye-catching start to their return to the BBL big-time.
They lost seven in a row but have won back-to-back games, which makes them a potentially dangerous opponent for the Eagles as they look to maintain their position at the top of the BBL going into 2013.
Huffman said: “They do have quality basketball players.
“They have guys who can shoot the ball really well and pass the ball well too but they have only been playing together – most of them – for a very short time and that is probably why they have had a few problems in that run.
“We have guys here who have played together for many years and that does help in difficult situations.
“Sometimes that inexperience goes a long way to explaining away results like the ones they had in November.”