Sunday 26th September 2021
BBL Cup Group Stage
Glasgow Rocks 69 B. Braun Sheffield Sharks 79

The B. Braun Sheffield Sharks went 1-1 over opening weekend with a pleasing and hard-fought win over the hometown Glasgow Rocks. The Sharks dominated the Scots on the boards and were led by an outstanding double-double from the recently-arrived Kipper Nichols with 26 points and 10 rebounds.

Starting Fives

Rocks: Hillsman, Minnie, Harris, Johnson, Fraser.

Sharks: Anderson, Williams, Nichols, Ratinho, Delpeche.

Key Moments

Nichols set the tone for an outstanding afternoon’s work with 7 points in the first quarter. There was little to choose between the sides in the opening stanza however, which closed at 18-16 in favour of the home side.

The Rocks threatened to break out midway through the second period on a huge three point score from ex-NBA G Leaguer Jordan Johnson at 28-23 but the Sharks fought back strongly on Nichols’ triple late in the shot clock to regain the lead at 33-34. That lead extended on an exquisite play involving Aaron Anderson, Nichols and finished on the dunk by Marcus Delpeche and a Jordan Ratinho putback concluded the half at 36-38.

The game remained a close affair in the third quarter. Glasgow player coach Gareth Murray drained the three that kept the Rocks in touch at 47-49, matched in kind by the Sharks’ Lucien Christofis. Going into the final ten minutes the game could have gone either way with the score at 53-56.

The contest turned truly enthralling for that final stanza. Back to back Delpeche dunks saw the Sharks out to a 59-64 lead and a Ratinho trey on the angle extended that at 65-71. The Rocks went into the penalty inside the final minute, allowing Anderson and Nichols to see out a very satisfying 69-79 success for the Sharks.

MVP

The Sharks dominated the boards, out-rebounding Glasgow by 47 to 30. Ratinho (8 rebounds) and Delpeche (7 rebounds) were key to this alongside useful 9 and 15 point hauls respectively. Point Guard Aaron Anderson filled his statline to record 10 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals. The MVP was a clear one however. University of Illinois grad Kipper Nichols looked a class above on his was to 26 points and 10 rebounds to put his side level for the weekend.

Next Game

Newcastle Eagles v B. Braun Sheffield Sharks, Friday 1st October 2021, Vertu Motors Arena, 7.30pm Tip Off

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Adam Bates

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