NEW money, new fortune.
The balls rolled in the favour of Sheffield Sharks last night at the English Institute of Sport as they rallied from a 13 point deficit to beat Glasgow Rocks in a nail-biting BBL Cup quarter-final against Glasgow Rocks.
Trailing 59-46 at the end of the third quarter the Sharks used a 10-0 burst to start the final period, levelled on a Micah Williams three at 63-63 and then went ahead for good on a Olu Babalola two. A further Williams basket to make it 72-69 was the crucial basket as Rocks guard EJ Harrison missed a last second layup, which would have won it for the visitors.
The day had begun well for the Sharks with a press conference at the EIS to announce significant investment into the club by lottery millionaire Karen Child.
The former supermarket worker will be a shareholder but her cash will secure the short and medium term future of the club and help develop plans within the city.
Speaking to the crowd at half time, Child said: “I saw a few games last season and was hooked immediately.
“The reason I have invested is because of the bigger picture with community schemes.”
Sharks coach Atiba Lyons made his first appearance in a Sharks vest this season having decided to add himself to an injury-hit squad.
The news of the new investment into the club seemed to provide an early boost to the Sharks and in particular Canadian forward Mike Tuck.
Starting as the only legitimate big man with Babalola nursing a heavily bandaged left leg and only able to contribute from the bench, Tuck scored nine points as Sharks raced into a 12-2 lead.
However, Rocks remained patient and despite a superb ‘alley-oop’ between Lyons and Williams, the visitors had strung together a 13-2 run to take a 15-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Rocks continued their run into the second period with Brice Fantazia providing good energy to help his team to a 25-16 advantage.
Babalola began the Sharks fightback with four points in a 9-3 burst, which was capped by a Williams three.
And after a 6-2 Rocks run the Sharks scored the final four points of the half to trail 34-31 at half time.
Rocks height began to pay dividends in the third quarter with Great Britain international Kieron Achara involved in all their best play.
Achara’s basket and bonus free throw ended a 15-8 run, which improved Glasgow’s lead from 41-36 to 56-44. And his traditional three-pointer stemmed a mini-Sharks revival as Rocks led 59-46.
* SHARKS: Williams 23, Tuck 16, Daye 10, Babalola 10, Bridge 7, Sing 3, Gachette 2, Lyons 1.
Did you know? New Sharks director and basketball enthusiast Karen Child wouldn’t reveal how much she has pumped into the Sharks, but with an £8.4 million fortune she is sure to enjoy every penny.