On-fire Sharks set up semi-final clash with Cheshire

B. Braun Sheffield Sharks
B. Braun Sheffield Sharks
May 5, 202410:30 PM

Sunday 5th May 2024

British Basketball League Playoff Quarter Final – Game Three

B. Braun Sheffield Sharks 86 Leicester Riders 69

The last three games between the two sides had ended up with a three point winning margin but the B. Braun Sheffield Sharks ripped up the form book with a stunning 86-69 victory over the Leicester Riders. The Sharks, buoyed on by a vociferous crowd at the Canon Medical Arena, were in determined mood following success in Leicester the previous evening and carried on in entertaining fashion to book their playoff semi-final place against Cheshire Phoenix. Prentiss Nixon, game winner on Saturday evening, led all scorers with 17 points but in truth, it was another wholehearted team display that saw the Sharks progress to the next round.

Starting Fives

Sharks: Ramsey, Eytle-Rock, Ratinho, Green, Delpeche.

Riders: Thomas, Allen, Walker, Holmes, Russell.

Key Moments

The Sharks came out of the gate with some serious energy at the start of the encounter. Devearl Ramsey’s stepback three began a run that ended with Marcus Delpeche’s putback dunk at 7-2. Malek Green eurostepped to the hoop at 11-5 but Leicester revived to level the game at 11-11 through Mo Walker. A series of trades between the sides ensued until Riders talisman Teddy Allen gave the visitors the lead with a three at 17-19. Delpeche threw down another dunk to restore parity and a banked three from Prentiss Nixon saw the Sharks in front by 24-21 on the buzzer.

The Sharks outscored Leicester by six in a scintillating second quarter. Corner threes from Jordan Ratinho and Jalon Pipkins set the tone and when RJ Eytle-Rock went coast to coast at 34-24, it was the Riders who needed to reset with a timeout. Their rally was brief – Jaren Holmes capping a 0-8 run at 37-36 before the Sharks came again. Kipper Nichols made a three-pointer on Rodney Glasgow’s kickout and back-to-back treys by Ratinho saw the Sharks with a 46-37 advantage at half time.

The return after the break saw the Sharks no less ambitious. Malek Green took over with 5 points as the score became 53-37. Leicester forward Samuel Idowu added 13 points in a hot spell for the East Midlands outfit but TJ Lall was the only other Riders scorer as Green on a fast-break alleyoop and a long Jalon Pipkins conversion gave the hosts a 69-52 lead going into the final period.

The run continued in the fourth quarter. A Pipkins three and a jump shot were followed by a Nixon pair from the line to make it 76-52 on an 11-0 streak. Pipkins continued with the hot hand and when Green hit the Sharks twelfth triple of the encounter, the lead was an unassailable 82-56. Leicester gained a consolation three through Holmes and went to the line with Blake Bowman and Miryne Thomas but the damage had already been done. Green dribbled out the final 22 seconds with a noisy crowd on their feet celebrating a memorable 86-69 win.


Possibly the most complete team display of the season saw the Sharks to a semi-final clash with Cheshire Phoenix. His nine points all came from beyond the arc but the lockdown defence played by Jordan Ratinho on the free-scoring Teddy Allen saw the Riders talisman restricted to just 8 points all afternoon. An efficiency rating of 17 summed up Marcus Delpeche’s 8 point, 9 rebound outing and Kipper Nichols ticked all the boxes with his 7 point, 6 rebound, 6 assist, 2 steal and 1 blocked shot display. Double figure games came from Devearl Ramsey (11), Malek Green (14) and Jalon Pipkins (15), who went 6 of 7 from the field for his points. The Sky Sports cameras plumped for the 17 point, 5 rebound, 4 assist statline of Prentiss Nixon for the MVP honours but clearly, it was the part that the whole team played that saw them to quarter-final success on a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.

Next game

Cheshire Phoenix v B. Braun Sheffield Sharks, Friday 10th May 2024, Cheshire Oaks Arena, 7.30pm tip off.


Adam Bates