Fab Flournoy expects his Esh Group Eagles Newcastle to get a much rougher ride from long-time rivals Glasgow Rocks when they meet in the BBL Cup quarter-final on Sunday.
The Eagles eased past Sterling Davis’ Rocks 98-70 last month but with the season’s first trophy up for grabs, Flournoy expects both sides to perform at a higher level.
“That game was very early in the season and both teams should be better now they have had more repetition,” said the experienced play-caller.
“Glasgow is probably our only true rivalry with significant history attached and the games between us are always very hard fought.
“A trophy is on the line on Sunday and we have to make sure we bring our best effort and do everything we can not to let an opportunity slip away.”
Eagles went all the way to the final last year – for a third successive season – before being beaten by Leicester Riders, in dramatic fashion.
But that will not influence Newcastle this time as they look forward, not back.
Flournoy added: “That is way back in the past now and has no relevance.
“In the BBL the trophies come along very quickly and the important thing is to focus on the next one, not what went before.”
The winners of this game will face One Health Sharks Sheffield or Durham Wildcats in the semi-final.
Last time they met:
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 98 Glasgow Rocks 70 (BBL Championship, Sport Central, 18/10/2013)
What they say:
Rocks coach Sterling Davis: “We as a team have to not be content with playing a good quarter or half but start winning games.
“The Cup is definitely something to play for and shoot for as a goal. We are in the position we are in the Cup because of our results last season, so however we can get there we will take it at this point.”
Eagles guard Paul Gause: “We are just expecting them to be a lot better. They didn’t play too many games before us (last time) and I think their chemistry was not there and we did some good things.
“But they’re a veteran team and know how to win together so we have to execute on both ends of the floor. We have got to be focused and ready from the jump.”