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Sharks and Eagles take bites out of poor Rocks

It is far from ideal to head into this weekend's BBL Trophy final on the back of consecutive defeats, Glasgow Rocks player-coach Sterling Davis admitted last night.

EJ Harrison: Rocks captain may miss BBL Trophy final through injury
EJ Harrison: Rocks captain may miss BBL Trophy final through injury

The American, however, must now nurse his side through the uncertainty ahead of their date with Worcester Wolves and look for crumbs of comfort from losses to Sheffield Sharks and Newcastle Eagles that also left their hopes of reaching the British Basketball League play-offs hanging by a slender thread.

Having sustained a 75-61 trouncing by Sheffield on Saturday at the Emirates Arena, the visit of Newcastle yesterday provided a little more comfort but no greater spoils. The league leaders ground out an 89-84 victory which maintains their four-point cushion over the Yorkshiremen and Worcester in a three-way scrap for the championship which promises to go right to the wire.

Davis, whose own team now sit four points adrift of eighth-placed Plymouth with just six games to go, must surely now pin everything on Trophy success to achieve some redemption. "It definitely leaves us with a tough challenge but we will keep fighting to the end," he vowed. "It's going to be hard now. Every single loss hurts us."

With Sheffield coasting as much as 22 clear in a capitulation, Glasgow at least proved there is some fight left in the dog with Newcastle forced to scrap for the spoils. Jonny Bunyan's three-pointer pushed the hosts 31-20 in front in the second period before the Eagles hit back with a 16-0 run.

Leading 39-34 at half-time, Fab Flournoy's men increased the pressure and although the Scots - paced eventually by 19 points apiece from Daniel Northern and Chris Johnson - drew level late in the third, six straight points in the fourth quarter proved decisive.

"Both the games were a gauge for us looking at the Trophy final," Davis said. "I have to focus on the positives and now put everything into getting us ready for Sunday."

Rocks captain EJ Harrison is now a doubt for the showpiece after missing the Newcastle loss through injury. "He's still not ready," Davis added. "I tried to throw him in there against Sheffield but he's not 100% so it's not worth the risk."

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