Sheffield Sharks move to a 2-1 record in the BBL Cup
The B. Braun Sheffield Sharks like playing in Newcastle – fact! An 82-85 win over the hometown Eagles saw the Sharks move to a 2-1 record in the BBL Cup North group and record their seventh win in ten visits since the Vertu Motors Arena was opened.
Next up comes a north-west double header. On Friday we have the visit of our historical rivals and neighbours from across the Pennines, the Manchester Giants. On Sunday, we head over to Ellesmere Port to take on Cheshire Phoenix.
Newcastle are the most decorated side in the BBL but our record over them since they moved into their new arena has been exemplary. Last Friday’s game was no exception. We pulled away in the second quarter to claim a fully deserved 39-49 half time lead. In front of their partisan crowd, it was no surprise that Newcastle closed the gap to 64-65 in the third period and even going into the final thirty seconds, the Eagles were within touching distance at 82-83 thanks to two-time league MVP Rahmon Fletcher. A series of ill-conceived fouls by the home side plus a pair of ice-cold free throws from our point guard Aaron Anderson saw out another memorable 82-85 win.
Demonstrating the team ethos of the Sharks so far this season, there were several notable performances and a new MVP. Aaron Anderson showed all his experience with 10 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists and 4 steals. Also demonstrating a step up from his rookie year was Kipper Nichols. He influenced the team all round with 13 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals. And there was another solid haul from Marcus Delpeche with 15 points and 6 rebounds.
But for a great shooting display, it was Jonathan ‘Jon-Jon’ Williams who took the MVP award. He hit all his seven 2 point shots and made three of his five 3 point attempts for 23 points to go with 6 rebounds and 4 assists.
Our opponents on Friday, Manchester, are currently 1-1 in the group. They have strengthened their roster this season with some high quality imports plus Great Britain players Dan Clark, Jamell Anderson and Josh Steel.
We’ve already played Cheshire on opening night, sadly going down by 64-71. We’ve had more time together now and the guys are now more in tune with what is expected. Hopefully the result will be different this time around!
The return to having spectators back at Ponds Forge has been great. We’ve managed it very carefully in respect to Covid and now feel comfortable that the crowds can attend in safe, organised manner. We’d love to see the arena full for the visit of the Giants – some great basketball talent will be on display and of course this is as near as you get to a local derby – a ‘Battle of the Roses.’ Check us out on social media if you want to grab a ticket!