BBL Cup North Group
Friday 18th October 2019
Newcastle Eagles v B. Braun Sheffield Sharks
After the thrills and excitement of reaching the All Stars Championship Final, the B. Braun Sharks return to the bread and butter of the BBL Cup group stage campaign with a road trip to Newcastle. The 3-1 Sharks sit in second place behind the 4-1 Eagles with consecutive games against the North Easterners to come. The Eagles continue to be one of the teams to watch despite the departure of their legendary coach Fab Flournoy and a testing couple of weeks awaits the Sharks.
What to expect
They may have played each other twice in pre-season but that will count for little as the BBL Cup matchups begin. Newcastle’s solitary defeat came at the hands of Glasgow in overtime by 71-73 but other than that, things have been going swimmingly for new playcaller Ian Macleod. Prior to achieving a semi-final berth at All Stars, the Eagles took down Cheshire Phoenix on the road by 92-100. New big Sade Aded-Hussain poured in a huge 30 points and with vet Darius Defoe and fellow newcomer John Mitchell forms a monsterous trio on the forward line. The backcourt isn’t neglected either. Rodney Glasgow Jnr compliments former MVP Rahmon Fletcher to a tee and the BBL experience around them in Drew Lasker, Kai Williams and even Eddie Matthew forms a formidable unit. Flournoy may be with the Raptors now but this is very much a team in his mould and any trip to the North East is guaranteed to be a difficult one.
Fun, fun, fun! That’s the only way you can describe last weekend in Shark Land! Firstly, an 84-68 win over a decent Glasgow Rocks side on Friday in the Tank entertained in huge measures with terrific displays all over the court. Bennett Koch continued his consistency with 16 points, Rob Marsden posted a double-double, Mackey McKnight weighed in with another 20 point plus haul and Nick Lewis filled up the statline for MVP honours and an All Star Five berth. It’s not quite the conventional format but the Sharks carried the same ethos into the one-day All Stars Championship to claim the runners-up spot behind hometown London Lions. Lewis and McKnight again got the plaudits for their performances but the whole side grew as the day wore on and the Sharks turned some heads on national TV. Back to the grind this week but a similar positive attitude can only be a plus point this early in the season.
Last time out
Newcastle Eagles (Fletcher 20 Smith 19 Williams 16) 93 B. Braun Sharks (Alexander 28 Williams 23 Martin 15) 102
What a weekend to be a part of the SharkNation! Fancy a bit more this weekend? Well if you can’t make it up to Newcastle, then don’t forget you can see Friday’s game live and for free on the BBL’s YouTube channel from 7.30pm. Why not try a new beverage while you are watching? It’s called the McKnight – a cup of tea with 9 sugars in it!!!! We’re loving it!
Next home game
B. Braun Sheffield Sharks v Newcastle Eagles, Friday 25th October 2019, Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, 7.30pm Tip Off.