BBL Cup Group Stage
Friday 20th November 2020
B. Braun Sheffield Sharks v Leicester Riders

The games are coming thick and fast for the B. Braun Sheffield Sharks and there is no let-up in the quality of opposition. Rob Paternostro’s Leicester Riders are the visitors to Ponds Forge this Friday, fresh from a clinical takedown of London Lions, as the quest to escape the ‘Group of Death’ continues.

What to expect

The Riders have a 2-1 record so far in Group 3 but were very professional in taking down London Lions by 97-76. Experienced Brit-core Jamell Anderson (12 points 9 rebounds) and recent GB call-up Conner Washington (20 points 4 assists) were as influential as ever and there was an All Star 5 performance from William Lee, who weighed in with 18 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists. Pulling the strings at the point this season is Geno Crandall, who also played a significant part in the win with 17 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists. Troubling for Leicester was the injury suffered to Mo Walker, who left the game with only two minutes under his belt and it remains to be seen whether the game-changing big will play any part on Friday night. The Riders operated with an eight man rotation last week against the Lions but you can be sure that whichever roster takes to the court for Coach Paternostro, it will be fully committed and execute his gameplan with the excellence he demands. Undoubtedly a team in the ascendancy.

Shark Watch

The Sharks face a huge game this Friday, sitting as they do on a 1-2 record with qualification from their BBL Cup group at stake. The last couple of games have been characterised by first half dry spells and it is a trait the Sharks could do without if they are to progress. However, they have shown that they are more than capable of this! Both the London and Newcastle games have contained quarters where the Sharks have dominated the opposition and it is a 40 minute display that is needed. Antwon Lillard’s scoring run is much welcomed and it was nice to see a solid return for Nicholas Lewis in Newcastle along side a never-say-die display from Bennett Koch. Nobody said it was easy and another of those ‘Fortress Ponds Forge’ outings could soon redress the balance!

Last Time Out (Pre-Season Friendly)

Leicester Riders (Johnson 15 Crandall 13 Jackson / Anderson 10) 66 B. Braun Sheffield Sharks (Nichols 16 Lillard 13 McKnight 11) 70

Fans Corner

Friday night is Sharks Basketball Night! Bring some cheer to these dark, dull lockdown evenings by settling down on your sofa for the latest instalment in the BBL Cup’s most thrilling group. We’re sorry you can’t join us in person but check out our social media for the next best thing…the livestream! Keep sending your messages of support – we read them all – as we look to make progress into the next stage. Join the SharkNation!

Next Game

B. Braun Sheffield Sharks v Leicester Riders, Friday 20th November 2020, Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, 6pm Tip Off

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Adam Bates