BBL Championship

Sunday 17th February 2019

Surrey Scorchers v DBL Sharks Sheffield

The DBL Sharks Sheffield return to action on Sunday for the first game in a road trip that has now been shortened to five away on the bounce. Manchester Giants progress in the BBL Trophy meant that last week’s planned game was postponed as the Sharks head down to Guildford this weekend to take on the Surrey Scorchers. The head-to-head is already secured but the points would be most welcome to Atiba Lyons and his men.

What to expect

The Scorchers sit in eleventh place with a 3-16 record and haven’t tasted success in their last five outings. The Sharks already hold the head-to-head having defeated Creon Raftopoulos’ men by 99-90 back in September and by 93-83 at the beginning of November. Surrey’s last win came on New Years Day when a mammoth 42 points from Quincy Taylor saw them to a 93-91 success over the talented London City Royals. The Scorchers were also buoyed on that day by 16 points from Ryan Richards, who starred in a very brief spell at the Surrey Sports Park. The Scorchers fortunes have taken a turn for the worse since then, London City taking revenge by 94-73 in their last encounter. Taylor represents Surrey’s greatest threat still, averaging 19.2 points and 5.1 assists but the veteran wiles of Tayo Ogedengbe (17.7 points per game) and the ability of recent signing Anthony Elechi cannot be disregarded. The Scorchers have been playoff candidates for several seasons now and Coach Raftopoulos will be keen for them get back to winning ways as the business end of the season approaches.

Shark Watch

It was a vastly improved display from the Sharks last time out at home to Leicester despite the 69-77 defeat. Rob Marsden led from the front with a 21 point, 13 rebound double-double and in the absence once again of Sharks captain Mike Tuck (broken hand), he will again provide that never-say-die spirit. He was joined by fellow Doncastrian Mathew Martin in contributing the necessary muscle on the defensive end and hopefully they together can provide the freedom that Chris Alexander and Dirk Williams can feed on. The Sharks have slipped to fifth in the BBL table in their break from play, which will have been a blessing in allowing a few tired bodies to recover but equally, they will be keen to get back on court on Sunday to take the points from a game that will see them maintain their status in the top half.

Last time out

Surrey Scorchers (Taylor 20 Ogedengbe 20 Steel 12) 83 DBL Sharks Sheffield (Alexander 20 Marsden 14 Williams 13) 93

Fans corner

If you can’t make the game down in Guildford at Surrey Sports Park, then livebasketball.tv is the place to be at 2pm on Sunday. Away trips to Worcester (March 8th), Cheshire (March 17th), London Lions (March 22nd) and London City Royals (March 23rd) follow before the Sharks finally arrive back home on March 29th when Bristol Flyers are the visitors to the EIS. Don’t forget to follow our social media channels too for news on our exploits while we are on the road! (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram).

Next home game

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Andy Chubb