Sunday 31st December 2023
British Basketball League Regular Season
B. Braun Sheffield Sharks 86 Manchester Giants 75
The B. Braun Sheffield Sharks rounded off 2023 and the opening phase of regular season games with a resilient victory over Manchester Giants. Both sides were down to eight on the roster but given their exertions of the previous day, it was the Sharks who dug deeper to claim an 86-75 success. A season-best from Jordan Ratinho and another MVP display from Prentiss Nixon returned the Sharks to fifth in the British Basketball League standings and to an 11-10 record overall.
Sharks: Ramsey, Nixon, Ratinho, Nichols, Koch.
Giants: Robertin, Lee, Stampley, Bourcier, Lewis.
The Sharks were without the services of RJ Eytle-Rock, Jubril Adekoya and Jalon Pipkins but maintained a high level of competition in a very close first half. Jordan Ratinho stepped up to the plate – his corner three gave the Sharks a 6-5 lead and six points from Prentiss Nixon extended that to 16-13. The Giants stayed in close touch however. Jalen Harris and former Shark Nicholas Lewis ensured that the first quarter ended level at 20-20.
The second period was no less intense. Some typically athletic finishes by Devearl Ramsey and a Nixon trey put the Sharks ahead by 27-22. Again Manchester rallied as Harris’ corner triple levelled once more at 29-29. Ratinho shouldered the extra responsibility; his and-one play being sandwiched by two three point scores as a 44-36 lead opened up. The Giants claimed the last seven points of the half to leave the game evenly poised at 44-43.
The Sharks determination truly shone through in the second half. Rodney Glasgow Jr was the inspiration this time to reversing an early single point Giants lead. His three plus one play put the Sharks ahead by 57-49, soon to become 63-51 as Manchester momentarily lost their composure. They regained it to finish the quarter strongly on a Lewis fadeaway at 65-59.
A 21-16 final stanza wrapped up a Sharks win full of pluck. A dagger two from Rodney Glasgow opened up a ten point difference at 73-63 but again the Giants came back. Seven points from the influential William Lee halved that at 77-72 but everything pointed to a Sharks success when a Glasgow circus shot dropped through the hoop at 83-73. A succession of trips to the line saw the Sharks manage out a very satisfying 86-75 victory to close the calendar year.
All eight suited Sharks made the scoresheet showing their will-to-win on the night. Some very timely finishes saw Rodney Glasgow leading from the front with 16 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists. Jordan Ratinho compiled a season-high 18 points in an excellent all-round display that also included 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals on six of ten shooting with an index of 21 to boot. Continuing his fine form of late however was Prentiss Nixon. His 20 point, 2 rebound, 3 assist outing took the MVP honours as the Sheffield New Year celebrations began early.
Surrey Scorchers v B. Braun Sheffield Sharks, Saturday January 6th 2024, Surrey Sports Park, 5.00pm Tip Off.