This Saturday the Leicester Riders take on the Sheffield Sharks in the BBL Championship as they look to make it 6 wins on the bounce in the competition. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets!
About the Sharks
Sheffield is one of the pedigree clubs in the BBL, with a great history of regular silverware, although success has proved more elusive in recent years, as Newcastle, Leicester and, more recently, London Lions have dominated.
But they have been consistent in making the playoffs throughout the period, and are looking to build their own arena, replicating Leicester and Newcastle, to bring back their glory days. They currently play at the aging Ponds Forge Centre, but have a site set aside at the old Don Valley stadium, with their design having received planning approval.
Playing-wise, the Sharks have had the most stable line-up in the BBL this season.
Their Head coach Atiba Lyons transitioned from player to coach over the last 13 seasons with the Sharks. Canadian born captain Mike Tuck and joins Rob Marsden on the front line, as returnees, and shooting guard Nick Lewis and point guard Mackey McKnight both previously played for the club.
New boys guard Conner Cashaw, centre Bennett Koch, and forward Bouna Ndiaye have been solid throughout the season, while local guards Marko Backovic, Josh Chubb, Sam Speight and Nathaniel Montgomery, are being groomed for the future.
The Sharks finished the qualifying stages of the BBL Cup with a 7 and 3 record, good enough for second place in the North Group, but were hammered at home in the quarter-finals by Bristol.
They have won three of the last four in the BBL Championship, including 106-87 last time out at Manchester. Riders are on a 5 game winning streak.
The teams split a pair of matches in the BBL Cup, Riders winning convincingly at home on the opening night of the season, while the Sharks won the return leg in Sheffield. Their league match at the end of December was cancelled after ten minutes because of a slippery floor.
Players to Watch
Sheffield has no dominant player, but American guard Cashew has been quietly efficient this season. His last match against Manchester was typical – he contributed 21 points at 72% shooting from the floor, along with 8 rebounds and 3 assists, in 32 minutes of play.
Riders point guard Kyron Cartwright has been carrying injuries for months, but looked back near his best in Leicester’s last win on the road at Plymouth, where he contributed 10 points on 80% shooting, along with 6 rebounds and 11 assists.
Tickets are still available for Saturday’s game, CLICK HERE to purchase yours!