The NIA arena in Birmingham was treated to a record breaking, action packed Sunday, as fans witnessed the underdogs One Health Sheffield Sharks triumph over favourites Mersey Tigers.
The occasion and the energy of the event was asking anyone to step up and put on a show, and New York born guard Steve D’Agostino duly obliged with what has got to be considered one of the performances of the season
One Health Sheffield Sharks point guard and hero on the day, Steve D’Agostino hit 35 points, going for an incredibly efficient 8/10 from beyond the arc and was named as the game’s Most Valuable Player as the holders produced a dominant display to become the first-ever side to retain the trophy.
When speaking to reporters after the game Steve D’Agostino had this to say: “Individually I was just doing anything I could to just help the team. They were finding me all the time and I just kept knocking them down.”
Mersey Tigers on the other hand could not buy a bucket, they were stone cold, going 2/18 from beyond the arc as a team and with the exception of captain Andrew Sullivan and Daivd Aliu there was no one threatening the scoresheet. Mersey Tigers were missing influential GB guard Nate Reinking but that is no excuse for the awful performance they produced, the team just lacked in most departments in comparison to their opponents.
When speaking about his teams performance Mersey Tigers coach Tony Garbelotto said: “It was one of my worst days as a coach”
In truth, One Health Sheffield Shark had a whole host of players smelling blood, the impressive Mike Tuck dominated inside finishing with 18 points and 7 rebounds. Whilst the Lamar Odom of British basketball Olu Babalola looked like he just could not be guarded.
Defensively as a unit the Sharks were deadly, time and time again stifling the Tigers perimeter players and suffocating the inside game of their forwards. The Mersey Tigers frustrations were evident in their numerous unnecessary turnovers especially at the hands of James Jones. Then there were the heated exchanges between Perry Lawson and Steve D’Agostino but the latter showed his steel and triumphed, while the former crumbled.
When the final buzzer sounded there were two winners, One Health Sheffield Sharks and a small section of travelling Sheffield fans who kept the arena buzzing the whole day.
The old adage states “Hardwork beats talent, if talent fails to work hard” but on this night One Health Sheffield Sharks showed they have both, and in abundance
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