Sheffield Sharks take victory over the Manchester Giants
Emphatic, exhilarating and entertaining! Three adjectives to describe the B. Braun Sheffield Sharks opening night BBL Championship victory over the Manchester Giants.
The Giants, conquerors of the Sharks twice in the BBL Cup group stage, were blown away by 101-73 on a superb Friday evening at Ponds Forge as the league season began in the best possible fashion.
Manchester came to Sheffield having breezed the BBL Cup North Group and appearing to have the Sharks number following 85-68 and 89-77 wins earlier in the season. The Sharks, with new signing Rodney Glasgow Jr coming off the bench, clearly had other ideas.
A 32-17 third quarter was key to the Sharks throwing off the Manchester shackles. Glasgow announced his arrival in Sheffield with a three point shot to open his account in South Yorkshire on his way to 12 points and 7 assists and his backcourt partner Aaron Anderson fell just short of another double-double with 14 points and 9 assists. Doing a bit of everything was MVP Kipper Nichols, who filled up his statline with 20 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and a blocked shot. Nichols explained how the turnaround victory was achieved.
‘It felt amazing to win especially in that fashion. We definitely have turned a corner in terms of honing in on details and not taking possessions for granted on the defensive end and I think that made all the difference.’
There was a furious pace to the game that got the Ponds Forge faithful to their feet on many occasions. Kipper spoke of the reasons.
‘We’ve been working on playing quick but not in a rush. We’ve definitely got a lot of pieces to play an up-tempo style game and I think we made a lot of good decisions within the flow of the game tonight. Those little things, those little intricacies make the whole difference.’
By a quirk of the fixture scheduling, our next opponents are….Manchester! We head over the Pennines on Friday for the return fixture at the National Basketball Performance Centre and we are aware the Giants will be out for revenge.
Whatever the outcome, the manner and style of last week’s win was hugely enjoyable for all that saw it. We don’t return to Ponds Forge until November 28 but we feel sure we will be the hottest ticket in town once the word gets out.