Tonight will see Glasgow Rocks players, Rob Yanders (pictured), Steve Parillon and player-coach, Sterling Davis, return to their former club, when the Rocks take on Sheffield Sharks at the EIS, Sheffield. Davis, who is now in his third season as player-coach of the BBL’s only Scottish club, was a BBL All Star during his time in Steel City. Yanders meanwhile began his career there, winning the Championship, Playoff and Cup titles with the Sharks. Steve Parillon completes the ex-Sharks trio, as he played for the club for the 2007/08 season.
Essential for the Rocks tonight and on Sunday, will be how Yanders and his backcourt partner, Jessie Sapp, fair against their sharpshooting, high scoring counterparts, Ryan Patton and Mike Cook. Davis made no secrets about the fact that keeping Cook relatively quiet would help his side go a long way to making next week’s Playoff Final. He commented: ‘Our main priority is going to be to slow down Mike Cook, as he is the driving force for them. They have multiple weapons, but a lot revolves around his performance, and he is tough to stop.’ He added: ‘We have to focus on making all of his shots as difficult as possible.’
His equivalent at Sheffield, Atiba Lyons, identified Sapp and Yanders as the driving forces for the Rocks: ‘Their strength is in their back court’ he said: ‘(Jessie) Sapp and (Rob) Yanders can both score and help their team mates, and guys like Mike Copeland are doing a good job at finishing at the basket when they get their opportunities.’
The Sharks have won thirty nine of the fifty four games between these two clubs in BBL history, and this season they have overcome Davis’ side on three out of four occasions, although the Rocks did knock them out of the BBL Trophy competition in the first round, with a 69-60 result. In their last meeting, a high scoring encounter on Valentine’s Day ended in the Sharks favour as they snatched a 93-100 win without Mike Cook. They showed however that their other players have what it takes, as Tafari Toney notched 31 points and Ryan Patton scored 28.