Leicester Riders 75
Sheffield Sharks 45
(Sharks lose 165-115 on aggregate)
IT was always going to be an uphill task for Sheffield Sharks to overturn a 20 point deficit from the first leg of their BBL Cup semi-final with Leicester Riders, but the way they capitulated in the second match on Saturday night is a worrying sign for the rest of the season.
The hosts reached thef inal without barely needing to break out of first gear, against a Sharks team which couldn’t cope with the intensity of the Riders’ defence.
The considerable woe of the visitors was underlined by the fact that outside of an outstanding solo performance by 18 point Demetrius Jemison, the next top scorers for the losing team was Olu Babalola on a paltry seven points.
Sharks knew it was a near case of mission impossible after losing the first leg 90-70 at the EIS, but they battled valiantly during the first quarter which Riders edged 18-14.
But, Atiba Lyons’ team ran into a brick wall during the second quarter, as they had no answer to the suffocating Riders rear guard which blunted the Sharks to quite brilliant effect.
As the home side continued to dominate when both teams returned to the floor, the party started early as fans celebrated their team punching their ticket as convincingly as possible.
Drew Sullivan led the way with 15 points, Jay Couisnard fired four triples whilst Zaire Taylor produced five assists and four steals for a rampant Leicester side that look a good bet for silverware at some point this season.
SHARKS: Jemison 18, Babalola 7, Tuck 6, Bridge 5, Holmes 5, Brownell 3, Sing 1.