Basketball: Influence of Holmes is vital to development of Lewis

Sharks point guard BJ Holmes.
Sharks point guard BJ Holmes.
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SHEFFIELD Sharks coach Atiba Lyons has praised point guard BJ Holmes for nurturing the talent of promising young talent Nick Lewis.

Canadian Lewis, aged 20, was the star of the show on Tuesday night as his 19 points helped the Sharks to a 70-60 victory over next week’s play-off opponents Newcastle Eagles. But it’s Lewis’ growing understanding with 24-year-old Texan Holmes that is pleasing Lyons the most.

He said: “I think Nick has really benefited from playing with someone as experienced as BJ. He definitely picks things up quick and their partnership is working.

“BJ takes the pressure off Nick with running the team and also does a good job of calming him down.”

This Sunday the Sharks travel to Cheshire Phoenix for their final match of the BBL Championship regular season. But with nothing to play in terms of league position Lyons is likely to use the match to sharpen his players up for the two-legged play-off quarter-final with Newcastle.

The first leg of the play-offs will be in the north-east on Friday, April 12 with the return match at the English Institute of Sport on Monday, April 15.

Sharks will play that game in the EIS’ ‘badminton hall’, which has become something of a lucky court for them in recent weeks.

World Snooker Championship qualifying at the venue means they can’t play in the main hall, but with four wins out of four on the blue floor they won’t mind one bit.

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