benecos BBL Playoff Quarter Final

Saturday 4th May 2019 – EIS Sheffield – 5.30pm Tip Off

Sunday 5th May 2019 – Eagles Community Arena – 5pm Tip Off

DBL Sharks Sheffield v Newcastle Eagles

The DBL Sharks Sheffield face some familiar opposition as the Playoff Quarter Finals finally get under way. The Sharks were conquerors of the Eagles only last week by 104-86 to gain a place in post-season but it is likely to be a very different Newcastle side they face once they hit the court on Saturday afternoon. Likely to return for Fab Flournoy’s men are influential forwards Darius Defoe and Victor Moses and of course, there is the two-leg aggregate score format to consider.

What to expect

The Eagles closed regular season with an 80-99 defeat at the hands of league champions, London Lions. How much should we read into that defeat? Precisely nothing. The free-scoring Victor Moses (17.7 ppg 7.9 rpg) saw just five minutes action that afternoon and fellow forward Darius Defoe (12.9 ppg 6.2 rpg) wasn’t risked at all. With the season on the line, expectations are that both will be suited for the Sharks encounters. Of course, Newcastle are much more than those heavyweights of the hardwood. Two-time league MVP Rahmon Fletcher has lost none of his wiles and is putting up 16.7 ppg with 8.9 apg pulling all the strings from the point. Curtailing Fletcher’s activities will be just one of the Sharks areas of focus. Kyle Williams impressed in the recent game against the Sharks and those other Williams, brothers Kai and Jamal, bring many years of BBL experience to the table as does veteran guard Drew Lasker. Experience doesn’t come much grander than the Eagles Player Coach Fabulous Flournoy MBE and he will be keen to lead his team onwards in an as-yet silverware-less season.

Shark Watch

Mackey McKnight spoke of the Sharks treating the final game of the regular season like a Playoff game and a similar attitude will be needed when the Sharks tackle Newcastle. There are no prizes for wondering what might have been come post-season and the message for Atiba Lyons’ men is that they need to leave it all out on the floor. They have talent in abundance – just look at Dirk Williams 40 point haul last time out against the Eagles (and his 18.9 ppg 5.3 rpg 2.8 apg for the season as a whole). Chris Alexander continues to defy Old Father Time and his explosive finishing has gleaned nigh on 19 ppg. Marry that with the work ethic of Rob Marsden (10.7 ppg 7.3 rpg) and the dark horse that is Mathew Martin, who richly deserved that 17 point, 8 rebound, 4 assist statline against the Eagles last time out and there is a side that can compete with anything the BBL can offer. It’s been a crazy, topsy-turvy season but the crucial part comes now. It’s time to dance!

Last time out

DBL Sharks Sheffield (Williams 40 Marsden 20 Martin 17) 104 Newcastle Eagles (Fletcher 27 Williams Kyle 23 Williams Kai 13) 86

Fans Corner

Who fancies a trip to London? You do? Well in that case you need to be at the EIS this Saturday 4th May at 5.30pm because Atiba and the guys need #TheTank filling! Your DBL Sharks are potentially just 160 minutes away from a date in the capital and they are going to need the help of the entire SharkNation to get them there. Secure your tickets and let’s get the get the guys off to the best possible start to their Playoff campaign. Summer’s long – we need more basketball! It’s time to #FearTheFin!

Next home game

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Andy Chubb