Coming off the back of Saturday’s defeat to league leaders Leicester Riders, Sheffield Sharks needed to put in a massive performance to set themselves up for the upcoming BBL playoffs, and that is exactly what coach Atiba Lyons got.
Sharks defeated Manchester Giants 69-82 at the Lucozade Soccerdome in Manchester on Sunday evening in a closely contested back and forth encounter.
Straight away from tip off Sharks seemed to be in control, stretching out into a 0-7 lead after a slow first three minutes with both teams only managing ten shots between them.
However Giants’ star Ingus Bankevics picked up 12 big points on his own to keep his side in this contest.
Three pointers by Patrick Horstmann and Kyle Odister sent Sharks into the second quarter with a 20-25 lead.
The second quarter began with back to back scoring by Sharks, extending their lead out to 20-30.
Bankevics continued to carry Giants, adding another four points to his first quarter total.
Another nine points from top scorer George Brownell saw him move onto 11 personal points, and closed out the first half with Sharks in front by eight, at a score of 39-47.
Giants player/coach Yorrick Williams must have had some inspirational words for his side at half time, as they came out roaring in the second half.
Another three pointer by Bankevics followed by lay ups from Dzaflo Larkai and Jerelle Okoro cut Sharks lead to just three points at 46-49.
However a quick five point rally from John Barber and a good scoring spell by Sharks star TJ Robinson pushed Sharks back out in front going into the final quarter 54-58 up.
The back and forth nature of the game continued into the final ten minutes, as the scoring stretched the score to 62-69 in Sharks’ favour.
A couple of two pointers by MVP Robinson tallied his points up to 18, which alongside his 10 rebounds gave him another valuable double-double.
The last five minutes saw captain Mike Tuck netting six quick points to help his time over the line and secure the victory, with a final score of 69-82 to Sharks.