Newcastle Eagles 120 Leeds Force 68: Early hope gives way to the inevitable

Leeds Force head coach, Danny Nelson.
Leeds Force head coach, Danny Nelson.
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A second defeat in as many months on Tyneside condemned Leeds Force to a 20th consecutive BBL loss of a catastrophic campaign, slumping to a 120-68 defeat against Newcastle Eagles, WRITES SEB GIGNER.

The new-look Force looked to make their numerical advantage pay against an ailing Newcastle in the initial stages – bursting into life seconds into the contest behind a smart George Brownell basket and a timely treble from British-American threat Adrian Kuyinu.

Facing a lack of options through injury, the depleted Eagles began to lean on deadly American duo Saah Nimley and Jaysean Paige to decimate a vulnerable Leeds defense.

The US marksmen mercilessly sank a quick-fire flurry of trebles to prise open a double-digit Newcastle lead and emphatically halt Force’s first-quarter momentum.

Leeds’ impressive first period effort was soon diminished by a nightmarish second segment, as Newcastle ramped up the pressure and stamped on the gas pedal to shatter Leeds’ hopes of claiming a surprise victory.

A barren pointless run heading into half-time left Force at the mercy of the Eagles – as Newcastle comfortably powered into a decisive 25-point lead.

Kuyinu’s spinning finish and an impressive solo shot from new-signing Aiman Rezk looked to have offered Leeds a lifeline to open the third, before the clinical Eagles inevitably tightened their talons.

Newcastle showcased their pedigree in a dominant penultimate period, pouring in 37 points.

A series of fancy finishes from Kuyinu restored some pride for the fatigued Force.

Debutant Force duo Morakinyo Williams and Vytautas Kamarunas proved the shining lights late on.