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  • Writer's picturemarisnoviks

Who will rule the North Sea? Newcastle Eagles ready to face Bakken Bears

The 2024 ENBL playoffs will start on Friday, March 1, at the Vertu Motors arena in northern England. The Seriös Group Newcastle Eagles will host Bakken Bears Aarhus in the first game of best-of-two series.

Series history: Seriös Group Newcastle Eagles and Bakken Bears Aarhus will face each other for the first time in a European competition.

Newcastle Eagles finished third in the Group B with a 5-2 record.

Bakken Bears finished second in the Group A with a 5-2 record.

Newcastle Eagles are 3-0 in the ENBL home games.

Bakken Bears are 4-0 in the ENBL road games.

Newcastle Eagles will play their first ENBL play-off game on Friday.

Bakken Bears will play their first ENBL play-off game as well.

Key matchup: Rickey McGill averages 16.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.6 assists for the Newcastle Eagles.

He shoots 48.0% from the two point line and 24.5% from the three point line.

Skyler Bowlin averages 9.1 points, 2.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists for the Bakken Bears.

He shoots 63.6% from the two point line and 34.1% from the three point line.

National championships: Seriös Group Newcastle Eagles are 14-11 at the British Basketball league.

They occupy the fourth place in the standings, tied with the Leicester Riders.

The Eagles already have posted three more wins than in 2022-2023 campaign, when they finished the regular season with a 11-25 record.

Head coach Marc Steutel and a former tennis player Josh Ward-Hibbert represented Great Britain in the EuroBasket 2025 qualifiers on February 19-27, posting a 1-1 record.

The British team defeated the Netherlands, 98-94 at the Vertu Motors arena and then lost to Czechia on the road, 82-90.

Bakken Bears are 18-2 at the Basketligaen.

The Bears have a 8-3 record in 2024, including a 3-2 performance in the ENBL.

Three Bears – Sylvester Berg, Darko Jukič and Gustav Knudsen – played for Denmark in the EuroBasket 2025 qualifiers on February 19-27, posting a 1-1 record.

The Danes defeated Georgia, 75-69, at Naestved and lost on the road against Finland, 85-89.

Know your referees

Crew chief: Oskars Lucis (Latvia) – FIBA referee 2003-2023; Euroleague referee 2007-2016; FIBA referee instructor from Latvia; referee coordinator of the Latvian Youth Basketball league (LJBL).

Umpire 1: Iain Macdonald (United Kingdom) – FIBA referee from 2017, British Basketball league referee from 2014.

Umpire 2: Christian Hansen (Denmark) – FIBA referee from 2021, Denmark Basketball highest leagues from 2015.

Observer: Mareks Voļskis (Latvia).

ENBL access: follow the game on YouTube live stream


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