Sheffield Sharks ‘aren't about to slip up on season now’
It is an often used cliché but a huge and pivotal weekend awaits the B. Braun Sheffield Sharks this time out.
Defeat to London Lions in the Good Friday televised fixture saw the Sharks drop to seventh place in the BBL table and turning just a slight glance over their shoulder at the chasing pack looking at cementing those all important top eight place playoff positions. The side in ninth, Surrey Scorchers, are the visitors to Ponds Forge on Friday evening whereas the Sharks head to tenth placed Manchester Giants on Sunday.
Two recent defeats appear to have kickstarted our opponents London Lions last Friday into a drive up the BBL table. We took an early lead over them through Jordan Ratinho but that was about as good as it got as the men from the capital went on to a 93-81 win in front of the Sky TV cameras.
Former Shark Dirk Williams, quiet in our previous encounters, broke out to lead all scorers with 25 points. Not far behind was Jeremy Hemsley with 21 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal and a block but despite a 22-25 final quarter, he was unable to inspire us to greater heights.
That same evening, Surrey went down by 90-98 to Plymouth and Bristol 72-77 to Worcester so despite falling to seventh in the BBL table, our playoff hopes didn’t take too much of a hit. That said, we’d rather be looking up the table than over our shoulder and obviously we want to take care of our own results rather than relying on events elsewhere.
We get to take matters into our own hands this weekend as we play Surrey and Manchester.
Surrey come to Ponds Forge on Friday and despite losing former NBA draftee Ryan Richards recently to Tunisian basketball, they still have a reputation as one of the most offensive minded clubs in the BBL. They’ve passed ninety points in their last three games and have serious firepower.
On Sunday we head over to Manchester. We have recent experience of our old rivals taking an 81-80 win over them at the end of February, prior to Gardner’s appointment. Coach ‘bounce’ is a big thing and clearly the Giants are another side we can’t take lightly.
Seven games remain for us to maintain our proud record of never having failed to make the end of season dance. We aren’t about to slip up!
Two terrific encounters await, streamed online on the BBL Player as ever – trust us when we say you will be entertained.