BBL Championship
Sunday 10th January 2021
Cheshire Phoenix v B. Braun Sheffield Sharks

Mission revenge! The B. Braun Sheffield Sharks head to the Ellesmere Port Sports Village looking to gain the upper hand over their conquerors on the opening day of the BBL Championship season, the Cheshire Phoenix. The ‘Nix were 82-92 victors in front of the Sky TV cameras on 3rd December, having won four out of the last five encounters between the two sides. The Sharks, however, have won four out of their last five since that reverse so an intriguing encounter awaits.

What to expect

Cheshire had early season wobbles but looked impressive in that 82-92 win over the Sharks. Jimbo Lull shone on debut on that occasion with 27 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists, closely followed by Kahron Ross (20 points 6 assists) and familiar returnee Jalen Hayes (18 points 10 rebounds). Also making his debut that night was former Manchester Giants playmaker Mike McCall, who was his usual efficient self with 14 points and an eye-watering 8 assists. The ‘Nix went on to chalk up four defeats after that opening win, against Bristol, Surrey, London and Newcastle before bouncing back with a 64-75 win on the road in Glasgow last weekend. Ross (24) and Lull (20) were key to that success once more and with the addition of former London City Royal and GB international Kyle Carey, they look a formidable prospect on home territory.

Shark Watch

Not one but two All Stars for the Sharks this week! Jeremy Hemsley made the BBL’s weekly five for his 19 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists on an index of 21 against Plymouth last Sunday. Joining him for a stellar debut was Jordan Ratinho, who put up 17 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists on his home bow, going 3 of 5 from downtown and crucially, 6 of 8 from the line to secure a hard-fought 83-78 win over the Raiders. Hemsley made his debut against Cheshire in that opening game and is now more assimilated into the team and Ratinho is fully aware of the talents of Cheshire’s Lull being a former team-mate of his at the University of San Francisco. The Sharks have got the momentum going in the right direction, sitting in third place with a 4-2 record, and will undoubtedly be looking to continue that run if they can shake their Phoenix bogey.

Last Time Out

B. Braun Sheffield Sharks (Hemsley 21 Lillard 18 Koch 16) 82 Cheshire Phoenix (Lull 27 Ross 20 Hayes 18) 92

Fans Corner

You want excitement? Then the B. Braun Sheffield Sharks are the team you need to watch! We may be locked-down again but the way to lock-in an escape from the mundanity is to sign into the game on www.bblplayer.co.uk on Sunday from 5pm. Don’t forget, this is the only place you can join the fun – Atiba has got these guys tuned up to entertain to the max, you wouldn’t want to miss out! If you’re from San Diego, San Francisco or Southey Green, everyone is welcome to join the SharkNation and help us to #FearTheFin!

Next Game

Cheshire Phoenix v B. Braun Sheffield Sharks, Sunday 10th January 2021, Ellesmere Port Sports Village, 5pm Tip Off

Image

Adam Bates