Friday 9th November 2018

BBL Championship

DBL Sharks Sheffield 84 Cheshire Phoenix 66

The DBL Sharks Sheffield exacted revenge on Cheshire Phoenix for their Cup defeat a fortnight ago with a comprehensive 84-66 victory. The Sharks now move out to 6-3 for the season and claim third place in the BBL Championship.

Starting Fives

Sharks: Marsden, Alexander, Williams, Don, Collins

Phoenix: Allen-Jordan, Latinovic, Session, Norl, Rivers

Key Moments

After Jimario Rivers three point shot put the ‘Nix up by 2-3 two minutes into the encounter, the Sharks never looked back. Rob Marsden began a fine performance by putting the home side in front by 6-3. An 8-0 run to the end of the quarter saw the Sharks in command and a fine defensive effort restricted the Cheshire offence with the score at 20-11.

Marsden’s long assist to Matthew Don gave the Sharks a 30-15 advantage and began a hot spell for the Doncaster-born forward. He poured in the next ten points for the home side as the lead went out to seventeen. That differential was maintained until the end of the half which closed at 42-25 in favour of Sheffield.

Dirk Williams corner three extended the lead to twenty at 49-29 as Cheshire had no answer to a superlative defensive effort by Atiba Lyons men. Chris Alexander’s off balance bucket saw the Sharks through the fifty point barrier at 51-31 before Leslee Smith went to work. The British Virgin Islander hit seven points to the end of the quarter, including one huge triple, guiding his side to a massive 65-39 scoreline with ten minutes remaining.

Actually, the game was already over as a contest as Louis Sayers (13) and Jordan Session (10) set about restoring some pride for the Phoenix. Marko Backovic drained his now customary trey out of the corner pocket, matched by Chris Alexander with the score at 75-46. The Sharks gave a home debut to David Martinez-Morant late in proceedings as the clock ticked down to a very satisfactory 84-66 success.

MVP

Another game, another all-round Dirk Williams display. His 16 points were allied with 5 rebounds and 4 assists for the ever-involved wing. Hot on the boards were Leslee Smith (7) and Matthew Don (10) in a game where defence translated into points at the opposite end for the Sharks. Chris Alexander (22) went to 60 points in the last three games benefitting from the pass-first mentality of recent signing Anthony Collins, who put up another huge night on assists with 10. The plaudits went to Doncaster-born Rob Marsden however for his statline of 18 points and 9 rebounds. The power forward has attacked the boards with gusto in the Sharks three game winning streak, pouring in those trademark baseline lay-ups to great effect. Marsden clearly enjoys the influence of Collins as facilitator and a variety of frontcourt partners in Tuck, Don and Smith allow the Yorkshireman to play to the best of his undoubted ability.

Quotes

Rob Marsden emphasised how his team were keen to make amends for the Cup defeat at the hands of the Phoenix a fortnight ago and that there is much more to come from this version of the Sharks.

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Kieran Kenney