Following a tough weekend, with losses against Manchester Giants away from home, and league leaders London Lions at a sold out Emirates Arena, Gareth Murray’s Gladiators welcome Newcastle Eagles to the Emirates Arena for BBL Trophy first round action.
The sides have matched up twice so far this season – with the results being split, both teams winning one game apiece. Gladiators picked up a 4-point win in front of the Emirates Arena crowd, 81-77. In the second game at the Vertu Motors Arena just prior to the New Year, Marc Steutel’s Newcastle Eagles came out on tip with a victory of 7 points, 94-87.
Gladiators are in somewhat of a slump – losing their past three games, the aforementioned fixtures against Newcastle, Manchester, and London. However, the Scottish side will be excited to attempt to bounce back against another excitable home crowd.
For Friday’s hosts, David Sloan and Jeremiah Bailey have stood out all Championship season, averaging 19.2 and 15.3 points per game respectively. The remainder of the roster have been contributing effectively, with entertaining basketball being on display, carrying the Gladiators to a respectable 8-9 record, that puts them in joint 5th place alongside Manchester and Plymouth.
Ali Fraser will remain out for the game, as he is still recovering from a foot injury. It remains unconfirmed how long he will be out for.
The Toon have seen mixed form throughout the season. However, a certain bright spark for them has been American guard Javion Hamlet who caused the Gladiators troubles in the previous outing – scoring 34 points and dishing out 6 assists on the night. This campaign, he is averaging 21.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game.
It is certainly looking to be a great game, with a place in the second round of the competition at stake. Get your tickets HERE!