‘Stopping Sharks’ Patton is Key’ – Smith

BBL ChampionshipThis Friday may be slightly quieter in terms of BBL games, but the Cheshire Jets still have to remain focussed as they travel to the English Institute of Sport to take on the Sheffield Sharks. Head Coach Paul Smith has warned his side that Sharks Point Guard, Ryan Patton, is the man they need to watch come Friday evening. The American switched from Worthing Thunder this summer, whom he helped establish in the league. Having previously played in EBL Division One for the Sheffield Arrows, with whom he won the National Cup and averaged 30 points and 7 assists, the point guard realised that his heart was in the Steel City, hence his return this season.

Smith clearly rates Patton highly, commenting: 'I think (Ryan) Patton has been a great addition for them. He is a true point guard and runs the team very well. They have a lot of threats, but he keeps them together like a good point guard should.'

Whilst Atiba Lyons' Sharks had two wins last weekend, they face another double header, as on Saturday, they travel to PAWS London Capital. Capital player-coach, Milek Jivens, is now stressing the need for his side to pick themselves up after two losses so far this campaign, and wants to change people's perception of Capital in the BBL: 'No one in this league thinks we will be of any threat' he said. 'We look to change all of that. We have had a disappointing start to the season but we just have to take it one game at a time.'

Saturday night also sees the Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders look to maintain their perfect record at home as they entertain the Essex Pirates on Saturday night. Riders' supremo Rob Paternostro was pleased with his side's performances against last season's powerhouse teams, Everton and Newcastle, last weekend. He commented: 'The Newcastle game was certainly an entertaining game for the fans. I thought both teams played hard and produced a high level basketball game that was filled with many great spells of basketball. The Everton game was always going to be tough due to the long trip to Newcastle the night before and not really knowing their personnel. I was impressed with Tony Garbelotto's new recruits. (Kevin) Bell played well and the inside tandem of (Flo) Larkai and (Andy) Thomson will be a handful for most teams.'

Saturday's action is completed by a game between the Worcester Wolves and Glasgow Rocks, at Worcester University Sports Centre, and the Wolves rookie Head Coach Chuck Evans expects a tough test, as he singles out dominant American Point Guard Rob Yanders as the Rocks' main threat. He said: 'We have a tough game this weekend against Glasgow. Rob Yanders is their catalyst and does a great job in his role. Sterling (Davis, Head Coach of the Rocks) has one of the best point guards in the BBL.'

Source: www.bbl.org.uk