BBL Championship

Friday 31st January 2020 – B. Braun Sheffield Sharks v Surrey Scorchers

Sunday 2nd February 2020 – Cheshire Phoenix v B. Braun Sheffield Sharks

Back to the business of the BBL Championship for the B. Braun Sharks this weekend and it’s yet another very important double header. On Friday evening, the Sharks welcome sixth placed Surrey Scorchers to The Tank before making the journey to Ellesmere Port on Sunday to tackle the fourth placed Cheshire Phoenix. The Sharks are looking to build upon their own 2-3 record having played fewer games than most.

What to expect – Surrey Scorchers

Points on the board! The Scorchers have gone through the ninety point barrier five times in their eight league games so far so it is clear they know their way to the hoop. Stopping the likes of vet Tayo Ogedengbe (17.1 ppg) and Lovell Cook (18.4 ppg) will be a key to success for Atiba Lyons’ side. Not that the Scorchers armoury ends there. Caylin Raftopoulos offers a clear three point threat and there are the all-round talents of James Hawthorne and Devontavius Payne to consider as well. Scorchers playcaller Creon Raftopoulos also can draw upon Skyler White (18.4 ppg, 9.4 rpg), an athletic big who is as comfortable shooting the three ball as he is cleaning the class. Often underestimated but never dull, the Scorchers present a challenge wherever they go.

What to expect – Cheshire Phoenix

Things are also building nicely in Cheshire. The Nix sit in fourth place with a 4-3 record and a place in the semis of the BBL Trophy to look forward to. Their last competitive outing saw them put Newcastle away by 70-88 running a seven man rotation. Parker Jackson-Cartwright has been a revelation for them at the point. He’s loaded up the statlines with 17.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 6.7 apg and 3.9 spg with his high energy displays. The Sharks have already had experience of the shooting talents of Ben Mockford; the ex-GB guard pouring in 18.1 ppg mostly from downtown. The Nix have Demonte Flannigan growing into his role and Brits Louis Sayers and Disraeli Lufadeju, who know their team ethic. Again, the Ellesmere Port Sports Village produces a great atmosphere and another thriller awaits.

Shark Watch

It’s all eyes on the BBL Championship now as the Sharks exited the BBL Trophy at the quarter final stage with that 86-79 loss up in Newcastle. The Sharks are playing catch up in the league. Only Leicester have played fewer games with the likes of London, Glasgow and Surrey approaching the half way stage of their campaign on eight games already. The demise of London City Royals leaves just 20 league fixtures so it is vital the Sharks start putting some numbers in the ‘W’ column and heading up the standings. Performances like the 24 point, 11 rebound haul from Connor Cashaw in Newcastle will go a long way to achieving this!

Last time out

Surrey Scorchers (Ogedengbe 19 Taylor 16 Elechi 15) 90 B. Braun Sharks (Williams 24 Alexander 22 Madray 6) 69

Cheshire Phoenix (Mockford 29 Jackson-Cartwright 13 Hayes 11) 76 B. Braun Sharks (Cashaw 20 Lewis 19 McKnight 12) 72

Fans Corner

Don’t forget we’re back in The Tank this Friday evening at 7.30pm when we welcome Surrey Scorchers to Ponds Forge. We need some of that special SharkNation atmosphere to help Atiba, Mike and the guys take down the free-scoring Scorchers. See the ticket link below if you want to put out the Scorchers flame! And if you can’t make the trip over to Ellesmere Port on Sunday, don’t forget you can always tune in to the BBL’s YouTube channel to catch the game live and for free. We go against Cheshire Phoenix at 5.30pm. You’ve got to love a double weekend of Sharks basketball action!

Next home game

B. Braun Sharks v Surrey Scorchers, Friday 31st January 2020, Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, 7.30pm Tip Off

Ticket Link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/b-braun-sheffield-sharks-v-surrey-scorchers-tickets-78636795773

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Andy Chubb