Hunt for Sharks

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The Independent Online
BASKETBALL If the chasing pack are to haul in the Sheffield Sharks, the Budweiser League leaders in their debut season, they must start this weekend in the first full programme after the three-week holiday break.

Jim Brandon's over-achievers base their game on unremitting effort, ferocious defence and a cutting edge provided by England's Roger Huggins, the American Todd Cauthorn and born-again Garnet Gayle, a former roller-hockey player.

The Sharks are four points clear with games in hand over three of their four closest challengers, and face two of them this weekend; Manchester Giants tonight and London Towers tomorrow.

Their coach, Brandon, an American former Championship-winning player with Sunderland, scarcely acknowledges that this is a critical weekend. "Because of our style of play we have the same approach to every game. We have no stars, no big scorers, none of my players is in the top 10 statistics apart from free throws. If we don't put out maximum effort every game, we'll lose to clubs at the bottom of the league, never mind Manchester and Towers."

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