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  • Writer's picturemarisnoviks

McGill and Johnson magic lead Eagles to first road win

Rickey McGill set a new ENBL record in steals made and inspired the Seriös Group Newcastle Eagles for a 90-74 road win at Valmiera Glass ViA on Tuesday, November 7, at the Vidzeme Olympic Center in northern Latvia.

Players of the game

Rickey McGill did it all for the Eagles.

A former Iona star (2015-2019) registered seven steals in the first three quarters alone.

McGill`s hard work resulted in a double-digits lead for the Tyneside boys.

Dynamic guard finished with 18 points, eight assists and eight steals.

Jordan Nathaniel Johnson came close to a first triple-double in league`s history.

A former Milwaukee and UNLV floor general had amazing 15 points, 10 rebounds and a game high nine assists.

Sean Seneca Knight (Illinois State University) led Valmiera in scoring with 19 points.

Guntis Sīpoliņš had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Key stats

Newcastle Eagles controlled the paint throughout the game, 46-24.

Valmiera worked hard and tied visitors on the offensive glass (12-12) but Marc Steutel`s men were better finishers.

Newcastle also defended better and created options for fast breaks (19-8).

Six Eagles finished in double figures.

The hosts relied on three point shots.

Back-to-back three pointers by Jānis Kaufmanis and Edmunds Elksnis put Valmiera ahead, 29-30.

Valmiera connected 6-of-11 attempts early in the game.

The Eagles improved perimeter defense and held the Latvian team 5-of-25 rest of the way.

Game notes

Valmiera followed the local tradition and played national anthems before the tipoff.

Club anthem Pāri visam Valmiera – Valmiera above everything – followed moments later.

Two drummers and around 1000 fans cheered for the home team.

A group of Newcastle fans traveled to northern Latvia and were rewarded with a first road win.

The Eagles improved to 2-1, while Valmiera dropped to 0-2.

Steals | ENBL records

Rickey McGill 8 November 7, 2023, Valmiera 74-90 Newcastle

Derrick Wilson 6 January 25, 2023, Prishtina 73-91 TalTech

Bohdan Bliznyuk 6 February 10, 2023, Šiauliai 73-88 Budivelnyk

Rickey McGill 6 October 4, 2023, Šiauliai 94-92 Newcastle


Four best teams from each group will qualify for the playoffs (A1-B4, A2-B3, A3-B2, A4-B1).

The 2024 playoffs – home and away, best-of-two series – will take place from February 1 until March 20.

The 2024 Final Four will take place on April 9-10.

Standings, as of November 7, 2023

Group A

Uniclub Casino Juventus 2-0 (+31)

Bristol Flyers 1-1 (+16)

Landstede Hammers Zwolle 1-0 (+15)

Tartu Ulikool Maks&Moorits 1-0 (+12)

Spartak Pleven 0-2 (-29)

Svendborg Rabbits 0-1 (-15)

Polski Cukier Start Lublin 0-1 (-30)

Hapoel Beer Sheva

Group B

Seriös Group Newcastle Eagles 2-1 (+20)

Zastal Zielona Gora 2-1 (+9)

Šiauliai 2-1 (-16)

CSO Voluntari 1-1 (+21)

Royal Basket Liège 1-0 (+23)

Valmiera Glass ViA 0-2 (-22)

Basket Brno 0-1 (-6)

Keila Coolbet 0-1 (-29)

Tie-breaker 1: Zielona Gora vs Šiauliai 1-0, +26.

Tie-breaker 2: Šiauliai vs Newcastle 1-0, +2


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