BBL Cup North Group
Sunday 10th November 2019
B. Braun Sheffield Sharks v Leicester Riders
Quarter finals – booked. Home tie guaranteed – tick. What’s left to do? Why, finish top of the group of course! The B. Braun Sharks welcome Leicester Riders to Ponds Forge on Sunday, vying with their Midlands rivals for the top place in the BBL Cup North Group and looking to exact a bit of revenge for that 75-54 defeat on opening day at the Morningside Arena. Both sides are changed from that first encounter but that only serves to heighten the anticipation of what promises to be an electric matchup.
What to expect
The Riders have suffered defeats to Newcastle and Cheshire so far in the competition but hold top spot over the Sharks by virtue of that opening day success. They got revenge over Newcastle last weekend, winning by 69-76 in the North East in a display that reeked of Coach Rob Paternostro’s basketballing principles. Darien Nelson-Henry top scored with 20 points, ably supported by Namon Wright (19), who has possibly been Paternostro’s most impressive recruit this season. Kyron Cartwright at the point is currently weighing in with 9 assists per game and the Riders have a wealth of Brit-talent with the likes of Jesse Chuku, Rema Lascelles, Jamell Anderson, veteran Andrew Thomson and the currently-injured Josh Ward-Hibbert. Leicester’s ebullient Coach will be keen to secure the head-to-head going into the next phase and the presence of the Riders ensures that a tough fixture lies ahead.
Traffic delays may have meant they were a little slow out of the traps but the Sharks got the job done in an efficient manner on the road at Manchester Giants last weekend. A 17-1 tear at the beginning of the third quarter put the Sharks in the box seat and they never looked like letting qualification for the quarter-finals slip from thereon in. There was a welcome return to scoring form for Bennett Koch (18) and that third quarter run was kick-started by a huge Mackey McKnight (17 points total) trey and marshalled by Mr Consistency, Nick Lewis (22). The Giants are somewhat transitional at the moment but the Sharks did a professional job and a mouth-watering encounter with Leicester on Sunday will be a better marker of where the team stands in terms of challengers for the BBL Cup silverware.
Last time out
Leicester Riders (Ward-Hibbert 19 Anderson 18 Wright 15) 75 B. Braun Sharks (Lewis 21 Koch 20 Marsden 8) 54
Your 6-2 Sharks are finally back in the Tank and we need the SharkNation more than ever. Atiba and the guys have thrilled and played terrific basketball so far this season and they would love to cap off the group stage by defeating the Leicester Riders. Here’s where you come in! Pack the bleachers, bring the noise and get the Tank rocking on what promises to be an excellent afternoon of basketball. And don’t forget our new regular tip-off time! 4pm this Sunday and all Sundays thereafter. Come on over to the Shark-side!
Next home game
B. Braun Sharks v Leicester Riders, Sunday 10th November 2019, Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, 4.00pm Tip Off