SHEFFIELD SHARKS booked their place in the next round of the BBL Cup after an 82-77 triumph over Manchester Giants.
The Sharks came out the sharpest and found themselves with a commanding early 16-2 lead,
Manchester, who themselves went into last night’s match on the back of a three-game losing streak, soon fought back and, at the half-time buzzer were trailing just to 38-33.
In the third quarter, the Sharks built on their lead with Mike Tuck scoring five points early on. Jerrold Brooks who ended the night with the MVP award carried over the fine form he had shown against Cheshire Phoenix a fortnight ago, ended the night with 17 points.
In a dramatic final quarter, Manchester managed to reduce the lead to a single point with 28 seconds on the clock, but, following a missed opportunity, Brooks and T.J Robinson killed off Giants’ hopes with four late points that booked the Sharks place in the next round.
In the league, Leeds Force were always chasing the game after falling behind to visitors Leicester Riders 22-14 at the end of the first quarter, eventually losing 87-59.
By the halfway stage, Riders’ lead had grown to 51-29 and, although Matt Newby’s team proved more of a match in the last two quarters, they were never going to rein in that initial large deficit.
Centre Zak Wells was Force’s leading scorer on the night with 14, with Deandre Bullard adding 13.