Tuesday 19th October 2021
BBL Cup Group Stage
Manchester Giants 89 B. Braun Sheffield Sharks 77
The B. Braun Sheffield Sharks suffered their second defeat of the BBL Cup Group stage at the hands of the Manchester Giants by 89-77. With qualification for the quarter finals already assured, the Sharks took the opportunity to give extended minutes to their bench and despite a Sharks career best assists total for Aaron Anderson, they were unable to tie the series with the Lancastrians.
Giants: McKnight, Anderson J, Steel, Lewis, Armstrong.
Sharks: Anderson A, Williams, Nichols, Ratinho, Koch.
Three ‘and one’ plays from Bennett Koch, Jonathan Williams and Aaron Anderson saw the Sharks into a 6-10 lead after an early offensive assault by Manchester. The Sharks gave early court time to Oscar Baldwin and Nate Montgomery as the Giants fought back through a Jack Hudson three pointer and a late bucket from former Shark Callum Jones to level the quarter at 17-17.
Ten points from Geno Artison at the start of the second period swung the game in the home side’s favour by 27-20. Back to back triples from Williams restored the Sharks lead on a 3-12 run and a pair of free throws from Aaron Anderson right on the buzzer secured a 35-41 half time lead for Atiba Lyons’ men.
The Giants outscored the Sharks by ten points in a critical third quarter. The sides traded baskets until midway through the stanza when five points from Great Britain international Jamell Anderson and an Artison putback saw Manchester back in front by 53-52. Montgomery opened his account for the season with a trademark left handed triple but Artison and Jordan Whelan closed the third quarter for the Giants with the score at 59-55.
Manchester carried the momentum over into the fourth as Will Saunders and Jordan Whelan found success from beyond the arc to give a twelve point lead at 69-57. Seven points for Kipper Nichols threatened to swing the game back the Sharks way as they pulled to within four at 81-77, although falling into the penalty with a minute and a half to play allowed Martaveous McKnight to close the game out from the line for the Red Rose side with the score at 89-77.
Jon-Jon Williams continued his rich scoring form as one of two candidates for the MVP tag. His 22 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists for an index of 22 would have claimed the award on any other night. However, there was another remarkable performance for Aaron Anderson that shaded his efforts. As well as 13 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals, Anderson dished out 12 assists to take the plaudits for another ‘do it all’ display.
B. Braun Sheffield Sharks v Glasgow Rocks, Sunday 24th October 2021, Ponds Forge, 4.00pm Tip Off.