Sheffield Sharks' Peter Scantlebury will get an easier ride than he might have expected when he returns to Thames Valley Tigers' Bracknell court for the first time as coach tonight.
Scants will still get a typically raucous welcome from the fans he first played in front of almost 20 years ago, but the absence of the American Nick Moore from the Tigers' backcourt will take the pressure off his playmakers, Nate Reinking and Rob Yanders.
Moore, from Toledo, has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering cartilage and anterior cruciate damage to a knee in the BBL Cup semi-final defeat by Scottish Rocks two weeks ago. His absence can only help the BBL Championship leaders, who have lost four of their last seven games after making a 10-game unbeaten start to the season.
Scantlebury, a former England player first associated with the Bracknell franchise from 1984 to 1990 and then again from 1993 to 1997, said: "Moore's absence hurts because he ran the team. And they are not a deep team to start with so it hurts them in terms of numbers." But Scants knows the crowd will try to make up for that. "They play a lot better at home and I know they will be up and ready for us."
Although Chester Jets eliminated Sharks from the BBL Trophy, Sheffield have the consolation of appearing in the first BBL Cup final next month against the Rocks.
Tomorrow Sheffield are at home in the Championship to London Towers, whose only defeat in their last six was the Cup semi against the Sharks.Reuse content