BBL Cup North Group
Friday 15th November 2019
Glasgow Rocks v B. Braun Sheffield Sharks
Hands up if you think they can do it? The equation is simple. Win in Glasgow and the B. Braun Sharks will finish at the head of the BBL Cup North Group. Lose and it’s a definite second place. The Rocks have failed to progress into the quarter finals and have said goodbye to a couple of players this week. The search for replacements is on for them with their focus now turning to the upcoming start of the league season.
What to expect
On paper, the Rocks roster looked very promising for this season but unfortunately things haven’t quite worked out for them. This week has seen Eli Pepper, scorer of 26 points against the Sharks in their last encounter, terminate his contract and return to the United States. The club has also parted company with Earl Russell this week too. Last week’s 93-58 defeat at Leicester Riders put an end to their hopes of making the BBL Cup quarter finals and turned their attentions to building towards the league season at the beginning of December. Whether the Rocks replace Pepper and Russell immediately remains to be seen but they do have some talented players and this game may be their chance to prove their worth to the club. GB duo of Gareth Murray and Ally Fraser (16 points v Leicester last week) have a vast array of experience, Greg Pryor is a well-respected facilitator and Tadas Rinkunas displayed terrific shooting ability in his spell north of the border last season. Which Rocks side turns up is the most difficult question. But clearly you ignore them at your peril especially on home territory.
It just gets better and better! Last Sunday’s takedown of leaders Leicester Riders by 79-63 saw the Sharks fall just short of the 22 point margin they needed to seal the group there and then but was nonetheless thrilling for the manner in which the Sharks achieved victory. Running out of superlatives to describe his performance, Nick Lewis’ 29 points were vitally backed up by good hauls from Connor Cashaw (20 points) and Bennett Koch (17 rebounds). It was another great team display more crucially and against a side of Leicester’s magnitude, eye-opening for the rest of the BBL. Success in Glasgow would see the Sharks take the group and play the fourth placed finisher from the South group in the quarter final on December 1st. Defeat in Glasgow would mean a match-up against the third place from the South. The Sharks are on a roll though and are aiming to get this job done!
Last time out
B. Braun Sharks (McKnight 22 Lewis 19 Koch 16) 84 Glasgow Rocks (Pepper 26 Murray 15 Pryor 9) 68
Cancel your plans this Friday. The only place to be (if you can’t make it to Glasgow) is the BBL YouTube page where you can catch the whole of the Rocks versus the Sharks live and for free! 7.30pm is the tip off time and it would be great to see your support for the guys across our social media platforms and on the livestream chatbox. It’s been a brilliant Cup Group stage for Atiba and the guys and we would love to bring that number one seeding for the North. Remember, if you’re not a Shark…you’re bait!
Next home game
B. Braun Sharks v To Be Confirmed (BBL Cup Quarter Final), Sunday 1st December 2019, Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, 4.00pm Tip Off