Friday 8th October 2021
BBL Cup Group Stage
B. Braun Sheffield Sharks 68 Manchester Giants 85
The Sharks suffered a first ever BBL Cup defeat at the hands of the Manchester Giants to move to 2-2 in the North group. The Giants, led by a highly efficient performance from Great Britain skipper Dan Clark, broke out in the third quarter to take the win despite another excellent all-round game from the Sharks’ Aaron Anderson.
Sharks: Anderson A, Williams, Nichols, Ratinho, Delpeche.
Giants: Clark, Anderson J, Steel, McKnight, Armstrong.
The two sides were virtually inseparable in the first half. Manchester guard Martaveous McKnight sent the Sharks into a mid-first quarter timeout at 5-9 on his only three point score of the night but the Sharks fought back on Lucien Christofis triple, Aaron Anderson’s ‘and one’ play and a Jon-Jon Williams bucket on the buzzer to take an 18-16 first quarter lead.
Clark showed his GB credentials at the start of the second with seven points to take the Lancastrians into a 21-28 lead. Clark was matched in his efficient display by the Sharks’ Aaron Anderson, who produced back to back drives to level matters at 34-34. The nip and tuck nature of the first half continued until Giants’ Tyrik Armstrong found the hoop on the buzzer to see the red rose side on top by 38-39.
Three scores from beyond the arc from the ever-dangerous Clark swung the momentum in Manchester’s favour at the start of the third quarter. The Sharks remained in touch courtesy of Anderson at 49-52 but a 1-12 run to the end of the stanza saw the Giants take the advantage at 50-64.
A final roll of the dice for the Sharks saw Kipper Nichols pull them to within seven on his trey at 62-69. Former Leicester Rider, Jamell Anderson restored the Manchester impetus with a corner triple at 64-76 and a trip into the penalty for the Sharks with 1.06 to play saw the Giants see out a 68-85 win from the line.
Marcus Delpeche recorded a fourth consecutive double figure scoring night with 10 points and 8 rebounds but the choice of MVP wasn’t a difficult one. Once again, Aaron Anderson was the shining light with another all-round all-action display, recording 19 points, 6 rebounds, 11 assists and a steal for a sizeable efficiency rating of 30. Sadly, an off-night for his side meant that his efforts were in vain.
Cheshire Phoenix v B. Braun Sheffield Sharks, Sunday 10th October 2021, Ellesmere Port Sports Village, 5.30pm Tip Off.