BBL Cup Group Stage
Tuesday 17th November 2020
Newcastle Eagles v B. Braun Sheffield Sharks
The B. Braun Sheffield Sharks take a midweek trip up to the North East as the next game in the BBL Cup’s most challenging group soon rolls around. The Eagles are currently top of group three with a 2-1 record having defeated London Lions and Leicester Riders but suffered a reverse against the Riders on Friday in their own gym by 82-88. The Sharks are looking to get back on track following their Friday afternoon defeat to London Lions by 88-73 down in the nation’s capital.
What to expect
Coach Ian Macleod has had a full say on recruitment this season and the result is nothing less than you would expect from a team of Newcastle’s magnitude. Returning to Newcastle are the solid nucleus of Darius Defoe, Eddie Matthew, Drew Lasker and two time MVP Rahmon Fletcher. Louis Sayers joins up the bring his experience and three point threat and exciting guard Cortez Edwards makes the switch from Worcester Wolves. New to the Tynesiders are Rex Pflueger, giant centre Evan Maxwell and power forward Justin Gordon. Gordon claimed a huge double-double of 24 points and 17 rebounds in the Eagles 79-89 road win on opening night at London Lions and Maxwell weighed in with 26 points as Newcastle slugged it out with Leicester to win by 96-102 in game 2. The Riders gained their revenge by 82-88 at the Eagles Community Arena last Friday, Pflueger top scoring for the Geordies with 21. So in all, another quality Newcastle side, very capable of scoring big and always formidable in their own arena. No wonder the pundits are keeping a sharp focus on this toughest of groups!
A 16-2 run across the first and second quarters was key to London Lions claiming the win over the Sharks on Friday. That aside, it never really felt like a fifteen point ballgame and the Sharks must look to a performance more akin to their third quarter display in London where they outscored their hosts by 27-17 and looked more like the side everyone has become accustomed to so far. Pleasing were continued consistent performances from Antwon Lillard (16 points 9 rebounds) and Kipper Nichols (16 points 5 rebounds) and Bennett Koch (13 points 7 rebounds) again showed his willingness to mix it under the basket with whomever is placed in his way. The margins are very fine and won’t take much for the Sharks to once again get back to winning ways. It is very much a team affair with a variety of rotations for Atiba Lyons this season and once the sum of those parts comes together, the win column should start to fill up rapidly.
Last time out (Pre-Season Friendly)
Newcastle Eagles (Maxwell 19 Fletcher 14 Gordon / Edwards 13) 96 B. Braun Sheffield Sharks (Lewis 24 Lillard 15 Koch 12) 85
A busy week for the Sharks with Tuesday night and Friday night basketball to come. The guys are on the road at Newcastle this Tuesday (17th November – 7pm tip off) before landing back Ponds Forge on Friday (20th November – 6pm tip off) when Leicester Riders are the visitors. Keep an eye on our social media platforms for details of the live streaming – the best way to keep in touch with your Sharks favourites during these unusual times!
Newcastle Eagles v B. Braun Sheffield Sharks, Tuesday 17th November 2020, Eagles Community Arena, 7pm tip off