Basketball: Andrew calls on the Sharks to Bridge the gap

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SHEFFIELD Sharks forward Andrew Bridge says it is time the club beat one of the league leaders.

The Sharks have improved their form and results since the turn of the year but haven’t yet seriously tested either of the British Basketball League’s ‘Big Two’ of Leicester Riders and Newcastle Eagles.

Their latest defeat was 72-51 against the Riders last Sunday. Bridge said he was disappointed but could see improvements in their play.

“I’ve got mixed emotions about it. We played really well for the first 28 minutes and matched them well which is a sign of how far we’ve come.

“We were right in it then we had a really bad two minutes and they pushed it out to ten points at the final break.

“We again matched them at the start of the fourth but as we chased the game we started to give up easy baskets.

“They deserved to win, but we were right there with them.

“Ultimately, though, we lost the game and while it’s good that we’ve improved, at some point we need to get a win against a top team.

“Our confidence is better, and our defence has always been there, but again we held a team to around 70 points but lost by a big margin.”

While a win against Leicester may be necessary if Sharks can see off Cheshire Jets to reach the BBL Trophy final tomorrow sees a crucial match in terms of qualifying for the end of season play-offs.

The Sharks welcome Manchester Giants to the English Institute of Sport with the pair locked together on 16 points in eighth place.

Sheffield are ranked higher in the table due to losing two games fewer but would fall out of the play-off positions if they were to lose against the Giants. Manchester guard Stefan Gill says knows what to expect from the Sharks: “We’ve played them twice, and their guards are good and both Mike Tuck and Olu [Babalola] are always consistent.

“Match-up wise they’re similar to us with a couple of good shooters and we can’t just look to stop one or two guys.”

The two teams appear to be in a five way fight for the seventh and eighth positions in the Championship.

London Lions are two points better off while Cheshire and Durham Wildcats have the same record as Manchester.

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