BBL Cup Quarter Final
Sunday 1st December 2019
B. Braun Sheffield Sharks v Bristol Flyers
It’s finally here! The big BBL Cup Quarter Final takes place this Sunday in the Tank with Bristol Flyers providing the opposition. A midweek 103-69 road loss at London Lions saw the Flyers finish in third place in the South Group and confirm their date with the Sharks. Atiba Lyons’ men come into the game on the back of a blank weekend but keen to carry on from their exciting displays in the ten game group stage.
What to expect
The Flyers went 5-5 during group play, recently defeating the highly-fancied London City Royals by 85-75, albeit with the Royals fielding a shortened roster. Bristol have built a fortress at the WISE Arena, where they recorded four of their five wins but up to now have been less effective on the road. As usual with Andreas Kapoulas’ sides, teamwork is key with the sum of the parts being greater than any individual performance. Currently excelling for the Flyers is returnee Fred Thomas. He put up 16.5 points per game with 5.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists throughout the group stage, closely followed by namesake Gentrey Thomas, who poured in 16.1 points per game with 7.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists. England’s Daniel Edozie (10.8 ppg, 5.9 rpg) is always a consistent performer and running him close is Levi Bradley (10.3 ppg 4.2 rpg), who also contributed 20 points against the Lions. Bristol have a highly-focused inside game that will give the Sharks plenty to consider on defence and the fact that Kapoulas was England’s coach at the Commonwealth Games shows how greatly respected his tactical knowledge is.
A blank week for the Sharks after they concluded the group stage with a 101-81 road loss at a resurgent Glasgow a fortnight ago. They are however 5-0 at Ponds Forge since their triumphant return to ‘The Tank’ and will be keen to keep their unbeaten record and progress to the semis to boot. Awaiting the victors of Sunday’s game are the winners of London City Royals and Cheshire Phoenix over two legs in mid-December so there is clearly a huge incentive to get one step closer to the Birmingham showpiece, which takes place in January. Atiba Lyons is acutely aware of how Bristol set themselves up and the Sharks have a little insider knowledge with Mike Tuck being Coach Kapoulas’ England captain for the Commonwealths. Another thriller awaits!
Last time out
B. Braun Sharks (Williams 22 Alexander 17 Marsden 14) 86 Bristol Flyers (Gray 19 McCloud 18 Thomas 13) 66
They’ve been away for a week but it’s time once again for the SharkNation to come out in force and cheer Atiba and the guys on to the next phase! A full ‘Tank’ can only benefit the Sharks so it’s time to put paid to this ‘Baby Shark’ nonsense and show our visitors how deadly we can be. Let’s pack Ponds Forge – the Flyers are going to need a bigger boat. In fact, there isn’t a boat big enough!! It’s time to #FearTheFin.
Next home game
B. Braun Sharks v Bristol Flyers, Sunday 1st December 2019, Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, 4.00pm Tip Off