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Newcastle Eagles downed by defending champions Leicester Riders

The Newcastle Eagles lost a sixth straight across all competitions.

The Tyne and Wear side hosted defending champions Leicester Riders and were defeated 91-87 behind strong Rider performances from guard duo Patrick Whelan and Zach Jackson.

Javion Hamlet said post-match: “We just got to break through this losing streak. I feel like we are right there.”

Hamlet finished with a game high 25 points as the Eagles fell short of a fourth quarter comeback.

The Eagles still have poor stretches in their games having gone down 13, letting up 30 Rider points.

Marc Steutel’s team are building their chemistry on and off the court to enhance performances and Hamlet added: “We are starting to play better defensively. We’re going through a bad stretch right now, but I feel like we are about to turn it up.

“We are starting to click.

“We are going to stay together and ride this thing out and we’re going to be victorious at the end.”

The North East team have cleaned up on their rebounding, only allowing the visitors five offensive rebounds and two second chance points. But used their rebounding ability to their advantage, grabbing 16 second chance points off of their 11 offensive boards.

The transition game played to the Eagles’ downfall conceding 22 fast break points, while managing only 12 of their own

Hamlet believes in the newly developed team, but understands the hardships of being a newly built team in the BBL: “It’s a new team, so we are still trying to learn each other. A lot of these BBL teams have been playing together for two or three years.”

The Eagles’ guard has extra motivation on the court as his son was born recently: “It’s a blessing to see a father. Obviously, I can’t see him because I’m trying to make a way for him.”

Looking forward to their next game on Sunday and Steutel’s Eagles will turn their season around and snap their losing streak in order to get back on track for playoff contention. Hamlet said: “We are looking forward to Surrey, the rest is going to take care of itself.”