BBL Championship

Friday 6th December 2019

Bristol Flyers v B. Braun Sheffield Sharks

The BBL Championship campaign gets underway this Friday and for the B. Braun Sharks, there is a rather familiar look about their opponents. Bristol Flyers, victors in that BBL Cup Quarter Final game by 58-81 last Sunday, play host to the Sharks in their compact, intimidating WISE Arena. The Championship is now shortened to just 22 games so a winning start (and a modicum of revenge) will be upper most in the thoughts of Sharks Coach Atiba Lyons.

What to expect

It’s tight, it’s compact and the noise level can rise in there. The WISE Arena is a fortress for the Flyers and can put many visiting teams on the back foot immediately. Add to that Bristol’s style of play and it is easy to see why they are very effective on their home court. As on Sunday, the Flyers set up well on defence with a very effective inside game. Once they have ground the opposition down, they are then equally effective from the perimeter. Marcus Delpeche was a beast on the boards at Ponds Forge last week with 13 rebounds to go with his 14 points and once Bristol gained a foothold, Gentrey Thomas went to work with 25 points including four of six shooting from beyond the arc. Add in the efficient inside shooting of Fred Thomas (15) and Levi Bradley (14), it was easy to see the keys to Bristol’s Cup success. A challenging contest awaits.

Shark Watch

Conversely, the Sharks will be looking to improve their shooting performance tremendously. Scoring hasn’t been a problem on the Sharks tremendous early season Cup run but they clearly suffered an off-night against the Flyers on Sunday. It is unlikely the Sharks will go two of twenty three again from three point territory and they just need to re-focus on the belief they had in going 7-3 during the group phase of the Cup. It’s a tough beginning to the Championship campaign but due to the shortened season, it’s vital that the side show some Sheffield steel and get off to a winning start.

Last time out

B. Braun Sharks (McKnight 16 Cashaw 11 Ndiaye 8) 58 Bristol Flyers (G Thomas 25 F Thomas 15 Delpeche 14) 81

Fans Corner

We’ve got a little while to wait for the Sharks next home game but you can follow all the action on YouTube as the BBL Championship campaign gets underway. Your B. Braun Sharks are on the road to Bristol this Friday 6th December for a 7.30pm tip off. We follow that up with away games at London Lions (Sunday 22nd December) and Newcastle Eagles (Friday 27th December) before finally coming back to the Tank to take on Leicester Riders on Sunday 29th December. The festive period and plenty of basketball – what could be better!

Next home game

B. Braun Sharks v Leicester Riders, Sunday 29th December 2019, Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, 4.00pm Tip Off

Ticket Link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/b-braun-sheffield-sharks-v-leicester-riders-tickets-78576976853

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Andy Chubb