BBL Championship

Sunday 22nd December 2019

London Lions v B. Braun Sheffield Sharks

Game two of the BBL Championship takes place on Sunday and the B. Braun Sharks are in for a reality check for more reasons than one. Not only does the game mark a return to action 16 days after they defeated Bristol Flyers in their opening encounter, they also face Love Island reality tv star and Great Britain International, Ovie Soko, recently signed to the London Lions. Vince Macaulay’s men are also one of only two sides who are 2-0 for the campaign.

What to expect

The defending champions look determined to hang on to their league title and have started the 22 game season like they mean business. Firstly they put away a resurgent Glasgow Rocks by 88-72 and followed that by comfortably beating Manchester Giants on the road by 73-103. While Soko is better known to the public at large for his tv exploits, he is undeniably one of the best basketball players in Great Britain today and his 16 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals against Manchester were a mere glimpse at what he brings to the Lions side. Of course the Lions still retain the services of double MVP Justin Robinson (17 points 5 assists 2 steals v Manchester) and the ever-impressive Brandon Peel (15.5 ppg and 9 rpg average so far). The supporting cast is extremely solid and the Lions always fare well in their Copperbox Arena. Early Christmas presents well and truly have to be earned in London!

Shark Watch

16 days since the Sharks last took to the court so they need to be aware of ring-rustiness. However, on their mettle and they will join the 2-0 club as a tough start to the league campaign continues. A couple of familiar faces match up against their former clubs. Nick Lewis returns to the Lions, on the back of 18.1 points per game throughout the BBL Cup campaign for the Sharks and a twenty point haul against Bristol in the opening league match. Former Shark Sam Toluwase, a member of the 2016 Playoff winning side, continues to defy the years and is an integral part of the Lions roster. The Copperbox Arena is known as one of Mike Tuck’s favourite venues so expect a big performance from the skipper – no harm in leading from the front!

Last time out

London Lions (Peel 19 Lockhart 16 Tabb 16) 89 B. Braun Sharks (Alexander 14 Williams 14 Tuck 13) 73

Fans Corner

Get ready for plenty of ‘weh-heys’ and lots of ‘ho-ho’s’ because your Sharks are back in action this Sunday, live from the Copperbox Arena in London. Follow all the action on the BBL YouTube channel from 4pm if you can’t be there in person. Our festive feast of basketball continues on Friday 27th December when we head up to Newcastle before we finally return to the Tank on Sunday 29th December when Leicester Riders are the visitors to Ponds Forge. Give yourself the gift of hoops this holiday period!

Next home game

B. Braun Sharks v Leicester Riders, Sunday 29th December 2019, Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, 4.00pm Tip Off

Ticket Link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/b-braun-sheffield-sharks-v-leicester-riders-tickets-78576976853

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Andy Chubb