Sheffield Sharks raring to go ahead of weekend clash
The B. Braun Sheffield Sharks take their latest TV bow this coming Friday as they make the long journey down to Devon to take on the Plymouth Raiders. It will be a second appearance inconsecutive weekends for the defeated BBL Trophy finalists, compared to the Sharks who benefitted from some much-needed rest and recuperation from their recent intense schedule.
The sides go into the game level on points, but with the home side having suffered two fewer defeats.
The Raiders, led by veteran playcaller Paul James, have been in great form recently but came off second best in the BBL Trophy final last weekend. They were down by as many as fourteen at half time against opponents London Lions but fought back tremendously to the point where the game could have gone either way. Sadly, they ran out of steam at the death as London squeaked a narrow 88-82 success.
Backed by a wealthy Turkish basketball enthusiast, Plymouth have recruited shrewdly and have a team that is the envy of many. Their current man of the moment is point guard Rickey McGill. He was their inspiration in the Trophy final with 31 points to add to several recent big totals.They also boast Great Britain international forward Ashley Hamilton, who is returning from injury and wasn’t quite able to exert his usual influence on the final despite being one of the regular league stand outs.
Size is a key to Plymouth’s roster and they boast the towering Prince Ibeh, one of the leading block- makers in the BBL as well as Brit Will Neighbour, who posted a 13 point, 11 rebound statline in the final and is known for a useful three point shot despite his size.
The Raiders hold fifth place with an 11-8 record and although we are level with them on points, we have suffered two more defeats. This, of course, is the time of the season that everyone is scrambling for that all-important top eight finish and we at the Sharks feel that there will be a few more twists and turns in the BBL standings before the end of the campaign regular.
This Friday will be our fourth appearance of the year in front of the Sky TV cameras and we are currently 1-2 in these broadcast games. Our last outing on the national stage was a 77-89 win over Newcastle back in mid-February so hopefully that bodes well for another lengthy road trip. We were without a game last weekend, after an intense recent schedule. The break has allowed a few weary bodies to take a rest and recuperate a few niggles and hopefully we will be raring to go come Friday evening.The broadcast starts at 7pm and the game tips off at 7.30pm – the virtual support of everyone at home in South Yorkshire will be much appreciated!