Glasgow Rocks 84 (17,42,65) (Harrison 23, Achara 18, Robinson 16)
Newcastle Eagles 106 (16,40,66) (Smith 31, Maddox 29, Chapman 20)
Newcastle Eagles rubber-stamped their status as red-hot title favourites with a sensational performance to shoot down Glasgow Rocks 106-84 and spoil the party for their arch rivals who were christening their new home at the Commonwealth Arena.
Kareem Maddox was the main party pooper for the Eagles, following up his impressive work in the success against Manchester Giants 48 hours earlier, with a stellar display at both ends of the floor which culminated in a quite brilliant double-double of 29 points and 12 rebounds.
And, to add further salt into Rocks’ wounds, ‘Prince’ Charles Smith once again tormented his former employers, this time conjuring up a majestic 31 points.
It was by far the best basketball played by Fab Flournoy and his players so far this season, and made even more satisfying since the momentum was with the hosts for a large chunk of the game.
With the tip-off delayed in order to let a big debut crowd take their seats, the Rocks got off to a flying start, helped by the loan deal they recently penned with Great Britain national team player Kieron Achara.
And, the Rocks’ forward made his mark early with a couple of big blocks which fuelled the sense of anticipation and energy from the hometown favourites and their supporters who revelled in the proceedings as they moved 38-25 ahead.
It looked like the force was going to be very much with the Rocks, but discounting the Eagles is never an option as history suggests. Having worked their way back into the contest to claw back the deficit, the away team exploded offensively during the final quarter in quite spectacular fashion.
Having managed to edge ahead 67-66 at the end of the third period, the visitors hit a purple patch of extraordinary intensity and it allowed them to amass an eye-popping 40 points in the final quarter and stroll to victory.