Rob Marsden: Leeds Force go agonisingly close to bragging rights

Rob Sandoval
Rob Sandoval
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There is no gloating this week, unfortunately, as we came up just short – we were so close it but, ultimately, we couldn’t make it over the line.

We were edged out 62-58 at home to Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Sharks and it all came down to a possession game, really.

Rob Marsden

Rob Marsden

They made there’s count and we couldn’t and that’s what proves the margin between victory and defeat in basketball.

I always thought we were in the game, despite them leading from beginning to end. They were mainly just six points ahead.

That equates to one or two possessions, so they were in reach and we brought it down to just one point with a minute to go.

But I feel some questionable calls were made. I’m not one for blaming officials but one of their players was nudged and a foul was called.

Jack Isenbarger (centre) with fellow Leeds Force hot shots Rob Sandoval and Rob Marsden.

Jack Isenbarger (centre) with fellow Leeds Force hot shots Rob Sandoval and Rob Marsden.

Fair enough but when Rob (Sandoval) was nudged in the final minute to possibly win us the game, no foul was called.

We just want to see consistency on the floor. But that wasn’t the factor that lost us the game so we can’t blame the officials.

I thought we played really really well, especially on defence. We reduced them to a low score so we really did improve in that department.

I have to say I think it was the first time in a long time that everyone had absorbed the information given to them by coach Newby in the week.

We all knew where we had to be, who we had to be on and it showed as Sheffield are known for scoring more than they did so we can be proud of that.

It does hurt a bit more for me losing that game, somehow Sheffield know how to get one on me, but this one hurts a bit more.

That is down to just the way it finished, it was so tight. I have to admit I think I have just got over it now, it has been playing on my mind.

My dad reliving it with me early in the week definitely didn’t help but you have to take it!

This game just means so much to me being a local lad from Doncaster. I made sure I was more active in the week just so I knew I was ready for the game.

I’m pretty sure I was a nightmare to be around and play with on the court. I was probably shouting a lot more at people.

I was maybe a bit too erratic on the floor, trying to make the difference. When you have players like Rob Sandoval and Jack Isenbarger you know where they will be most of the time, but I was all over, trying to get the baskets.

But now that game is gone and, unfortunately, Sheffield are the pride of Yorkshire this season, leaving us with other things to worry about.

Like ending this four-game losing run and getting much needed points on the board. We can’t allow the teams above us to pull away.

It is a huge game on Sunday against the Manchester Giants, who are down there battling with us and on the same amount of points.

So the game has huge significance. We have already been there and beaten them this season so this gives us real confidence.

It’s a weird one for me as I used to play for them so there is that respect for the team but when it hits 5pm on Sunday they are the enemy.

I played pretty well in November, hitting 23 points and nine rebounds. Something similar should be in order.

It would be great to see as many of you as possible making the short trip across the Pennines and cheering us on in this big game.

l Anthony Davis broke the record for most points in the Unites States NBA All-Star game as the Western Conference beat the Eastern Conference 192-182.

New Orleans Pelicans star Davis broke Wilt Chamberlain’s 55-year record by scoring 52 points in his home arena.

The teams combined for a record points total in an All-Star game.

The New Orleans crowd also saw a 41-point effort from Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Durant had a triple-double (21 points, 10 assists, 10 rebounds).

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way for the East with 30 points, and LeBron James added 23.