Sharks Edge Top Spot

Mike CookThanks to three victories last week, Sheffield Sharks edged forward in the race for the league title, regaining the top spot from Newcastle Eagles and edging it by just two points. Their first victory of came in the form of a 67-88 defeat of PAWS London Capital. Led by Mike Cook's 26 point haul and Matt Gorman's Team of the Week-worthy performance of 15 points and 14 rebounds, the win was crucial for Atiba Lyons' side, as it was the game in-hand they had over the Eagles. They then followed this up with a 101-95 win over Everton Tigers, with Cook again being the main threat, with 29 points personal.

Bank Holiday Monday then saw the BBL Cup winners defeat the twelfth placed Essex Pirates at the EIS Sheffield, and fans who had the day off work were also able to enjoy the repeat match up of the BBL Trophy Semi Finals between Everton Tigers and Newcastle Eagles, as the Eagles came out 77-91 on top, and Airwaves Plymouth Raiders, who are now out of the Play off battle thanks to their 104-101 loss against Worthing Thunder on Saturday evening, beat Marshall MK Lions 107-111. For Vince Macaulay's side, it was the second defeat in three games; despite beating Guildford Heat 86-77 last Tuesday, they lost out to Cheshire Jets after overtime the previous night, 91-92.

Jets Head Coach Paul Smith was pleased with that result, and will also be encouraged by his side's 91-82 victory over fourth-spot rivals, Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders, on Saturday. The win put the Jets in serious contention for a third or fourth place finish, as they now have the head-to-head over the Riders, but it was the East Midlands outfit who started the stronger, as they took the first quarter 17-25. Quarters two and three however, totally belonged to the home side, and the leaders of the Cheshire attack were sharpshooter Paul Peterson (14 points), Steven Gayle (19 points) and Colin O'Reilly, who earned his place in the BBL Team of the Week with a 28 point performance.

Other interesting turns in the Play-off race include wins for Worcester Wolves over basement sides, PAWS London Capital and Essex Pirates, as the fight for eighth spot intensifies, whilst Glasgow Rocks rubbed salt in the wounds of Guildford Heat, as they beat them 74-98 on Sunday. For London, the defeat to Worcester was the third in three consecutive games, as they lost out to the Rocks 81-106 on Saturday evening.

Source: www.bbl.org.uk