British Basketball LeagueFriday 25 September 2009 (7.30pm) @ Newcastle Arena  BBL Championship. The Newcastle Eagles host the Cheshire Jets at the Metro Radio Arena this Friday, and the last time these two sides met, the Jets almost caused the upset of the season on the Eagles home court, as they eventually lost out 88-83 in the playoff quarter final.

The Tyneside outfit, who were first seed going into the playoffs, then went on to win the playoff championship final, making it three trophies out of four last season. Jets Head Coach Paul Smith, however, is confident that he has a team who are ready for BBL action: 'It's a very tough start for us. They are the champions and they have kept the majority of the squad that won three trophies last season, but we have recruited well and the guys have gelled together well, so we are confident. We've had a good four weeks of preparation, as everyone arrived on time and we have trained well. We have a few new faces this year so it was important we had plenty of time to get to know each other. Frank Phifer has not arrived yet but we hope he will be here for Friday.'

After a strong finish to last year's campaign, Cheshire have been busy recruiting over the summer, and whilst retaining key players such as scoring machine Chez Marks and BBL veterans Shawn Myers, James Hamilton and Calvin Davis, they have also added credible new players to the roster, such as BBL rookie Paul Peterson and former Irish League MVP Colin O'Reilly. Eagles' player-coach Fabulous Flournoy is expecting Cheshire to create 'different' problems for his team this season. He said: 'The Cheshire match up will be interesting as they have made changes during the summer but, like us, they still have the core of their team. It will be interesting to see what difference Chez (Marks) will bring to the team. (Paul) Peterson and (Colin) O'Reilly give them something different. A 6'7'' three point shooter will give us different match us issues to last season.'

It is the Jets' two new additions, Paul Peterson and Colin O'Reilly, that Flournoy feels will be the players to watch out for: 'Although they are relative unknowns, I think they are obvious ones to watch out for. We know all about Calvin (Davis), James (Hamilton) and Sean (Myers), so it's really waiting to see what Chez Marks will produce. The other player we know can really produce for them is (Frank) Phifer.'