BBL Championship

Friday 6th March 2020 – B. Braun Sheffield Sharks v Manchester Giants

Sunday 8th March 2020 – B. Braun Sheffield Sharks v Newcastle Eagles

It’s time for March Madness! No, not the NCAA tournament over in the United States but our very own version here in Sheffield where your B. Braun Sharks will play 7 games in just 24 days. And the ‘madness’ begins with a weekend double header where the improving Manchester Giants and BBL Trophy finalists Newcastle Eagles are the visitors to Ponds Forge as the Championship regular season starts to bubble up nicely.

What to expect – Manchester Giants

The feeling is that the Giants first win is imminent. They led for a long time against a newly-loaded Plymouth Raiders side last Sunday before slipping to a narrow 90-96 defeat. The Jones brothers, Callum and James, led the way with 26 and 22 points respectively backed up by Edu Arques with 19. The Giants have recently added the presence and experience of Allie Fullah but have recently been without Del’vin Dickerson and Ingus Bankevics. The Giants refused to go away in the Sharks recent 87-106 win over in Manchester and one thing you can guarantee with one of Coach Danny Byrne’s sides is teamwork. And of course, there is the added incentive of traditional rivalry in a ‘War of the Roses’ clash.

What to expect – Newcastle Eagles

The Eagles held out last Sunday against Cheshire Phoenix, going down by 67-75 but claiming a berth in the BBL Trophy Final by 155-154 on aggregate. Back in the Championship, they took down Surrey Scorchers by 91-78 last Friday, Mike Morsell (22) and Sade Aded-Hussain (18) guiding them to fourth in the table with a 7-4 record. The Eagles have missed towering centre CJ Gettys recently through injury but have finally sorted out eligibility issues for Rodney Glasgow and he will be a more than useful addition to the Eagles roster until the season end. The Sharks had the Indian sign over the Eagles in recent games, curtailed by that 86-79 Trophy defeat in the North East at the end of January. However, any game against the BBL’s most decorated side is always a tough one and Coach Ian MacLeod will be keen to keep the momentum going ahead of their BBL Trophy Final against surprise package Solent Kestrels from the NBL.

Shark Watch

It was a battling display from the Sharks last Saturday against Leicester Riders despite going down by 87-80. The loss of Mackey McKnight was always going to be felt for his 12.8 points per game and 7.3 assists but extra ball handling duties for Connor Cashaw (14 points 7 rebounds 10 assists) and healthy displays from Nick Lewis (18 points 5 rebounds) and Bennett Koch (12 points 6 rebounds) guided the Sharks to within a whisker of causing an upset. Perhaps most pleasing was the 21 point haul for Bouna Ndiaye, who found a variety of ways to score and whose influence will be very important during McKnight’s unfortunate absence. The Sharks proved they are made of tough stuff and will be keen to start racking up the wins, starting with the weekend ahead.

Last time out

Manchester Giants (Bankevics 17 Elksnis 14 C Jones 12) 87 B. Braun Sharks (Cashaw 21 Koch 17 Marsden 17) 106

Newcastle Eagles (Fletcher 30 Morsell 18 Gettys 13) 86 B. Braun Sharks (Cashaw 24 Koch 17 Lewis 17) 79

Fans Corner

We haven’t gone mad but you can get a whole heap of Sharks basketball for your money with our special March Madness ticket offers. Pick any three or go the whole hog and attend all five home games in March at specially reduced rates. See the ticket links below to claim your special offer. It’s a crucial part of the season and we need you with us all the way, bringing that special atmosphere to the Tank! It’s time for March Madness baby!

Next home game

B. Braun Sharks v Manchester Giants, Friday 6th March 2020, Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, 7.30pm Tip Off

Ticket Link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/b-braun-sheffield-sharks-v-manchester-giants-tickets-78638338387

Pick 3 Ticket Offer: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/pick-3-ticket-sale-tickets-95024594119

March Madness Ticket Offer: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/march-madness-ticket-sale-tickets-95016794791

Image

@peteman82 / @5or6