No, your eyes don’t deceive you! It is only Tuesday but a very important week is on the horizon for the DBL Sharks Sheffield. Tomorrow night, they head down to Worcester to take on the Wolves in the first leg of the BBL Trophy semi-finals. Friday sees the current BBL Championship leaders, Leicester Riders, paying a visit to the Tank for an important league game. Finally, on Sunday, Worcester are the opponents at the EIS in the second leg, rounding off a strength-sapping five games in ten days.
This will be the second time this season the Sharks and Worcester have met in the semi-final of a silverware competition. Of course, the Wolves won by 173-157 on aggregate in the BBL Cup but lost out to Cheshire Phoenix in the final a couple of weeks ago. That defeat will act as a spur to Paul James’ men, who will be keen to repeat another final appearance but with a different outcome this time. The two sides still have three league games to come, have already met in pre-season and that’s before any potential playoff match-ups! So there should be little surprise in terms of personnel and it is well known what a solid prospect the Wolves are these days. In their last outing, they saw off Leeds Force by 101-76 on the road. Brandon Parrish was the man with the plan with 27 points, closely followed by George Beamon, who contributed 21 points with 7 rebounds. Previous to that they lost 81-76 at home to Leicester Riders. Mike Ojo (16) led the way as Worcester spread the scoring through the team, with the result being of interest to the Sharks due to Leicester being their opponents later in the week. The Sharks were left to pay for defensive lapses at the end of the Cup semi first leg last time around, which allowed Worcester to tailor their gameplan in the second tie. It was a valuable lesson and the aim must be at least parity with the Wolves after the initial forty minutes with the home leg still to come.
The week doesn’t get any easier as leaders Leicester Riders come to the EIS this Friday. As mentioned previously, they were conquerors of Worcester last Friday and followed that up with a 92-58 demolition of Manchester on Saturday. Typifying the Riders style of play, JR Holder (17) led the scoring followed by Bernardini (15), Hampton and Robertson (10), Walker (9) and Gamble (8). Holder has been a leading light for Rob Paternostro’s side this season with 16.4 points per game but is the only real note in the BBL stats leaders, demonstrating how much of a ‘team’ affair it is down in the Midlands. The Riders have suffered only two league defeats so far and again are the benchmark that the rest are aspiring to.
It was a mixed bag for the Sharks last weekend. They were largely influential against Cheshire in an entertaining game before allowing the BBL Cup winners back into the contest in the final quarter and toughing out the win. It was a different affair in Plymouth on Sunday. The Sharks were playing catch-up most of the game on the back of a low shooting percentage. They rallied in the dying stages as so often this season before Louis Sayers three pointer saw the win go Plymouth’s way. Chris Alexander is proving to be the Sharks ‘Mr Consistency.’ A string of twenty-plus point hauls sees him second in the BBL scoring charts with 18.9 points a game. Another big game or three from the quicksilver vet would be most welcomed as the team strives to give themselves the chance of silverware in the Trophy and a boost up the BBL table.
It is a massive week of action for your DBL Sharks Sheffield and the backing of the SharkNation is needed now more than ever! This Wednesday, the team head to the University of Worcester Arena to take on the Wolves in the BBL Trophy Semi-Final first leg. If you can’t make the journey south, don’t forget to tune in on Unilad Sport via Facebook, where the game will be streamed for free. Tip-off is at 7.30pm.
On Friday, the league leaders Leicester Riders come to town for a huge BBL Championship clash. Get your tickets at:
Then on Sunday, it’s the second leg of the Trophy semi-final with a 4pm tip-off. Tickets for this one can be found at:
Three huge games! Three you can’t afford to miss! We need you to play your part! Let’s make them #FearTheFin !