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Sheffield are the champs


Sheffield 79
Brighton 77

There wasn't quite the heroics of MEN Arena in 2000 but it wasn't far off.

Sheffield Sharks, level with 1:57 minutes left, fed Juston Phoenix to put themselves up 79-77 over sole remaining rivals Brighton.

No-one could add a further score as the Bears were vanquished and Sheffield lifted the regular season crown for the first time in three seasons with victory at Ponds Forge.

Sharks’ Head Coach Chris Finch enthused, “This is the sweetest of all my successes at Sheffield. I’m
proud of my guys, because they have taken their knocks this season, but they have always bounced
back. They have showed a lot of heart and character.”

The win came in dramatic fashion, with the score tied at 77-77 with 2.45 to go in the game. Earlier
Sharks had led by as many as ten points at 73-63, but Brighton battled back.

Phoenix, who finished as the game’s top scorer with 20 points, did his bit but the drama was far from over. Sheffield had two further attempts to score, but missed and then turned the ball over after getting the offensive rebound.
With the ball in Bears’ hands in the dying seconds, it was left to Lynard Stewart with a crucial
block to ensure Sharks took the spoils.

The result means that even if Brighton finish the season with the same win-loss record as Sheffield
[assuming Bears win their last two games and Sharks lose theirs], Sharks would not be caught by
virtue the head-to-head record between the clubs. Today’s win was Sharks’ third success in four
meetings with Bears this season.

The brand new BBL Championship trophy was presented to Sharks by the Minister for Sport, Richard
Caborn MP.

It is the fourth Championship title for the Sharks in the last nine seasons [one of those titles was
a Northern Conference title in 2001] and the third in Chris Finch’s tenure as Head Coach. Overall,
it was the sixth piece of silverware won by Finch and the eighth in the club’s history.

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