Basketball: Sharks must Tuck in for play-off run

Sharks captain Mike Tuck. Pic: Dean Woolley.
Sharks captain Mike Tuck. Pic: Dean Woolley.
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Sheffield Sharks may be some distance from where many expected them to be heading into the season, but captain Mike Tuck believes the campaign can still yield a deep run in the BBL Play-offs.

Sharks slumped to a fifth straight defeat last Friday, falling to Glasgow Rocks despite holding the lead and controlling the game for long periods.

Sheffield stalwart Tuck admits it was a difficult defeat to digest, but insists the way to respond is with steely determination, the like of which he is famed for.

“It was a long drive home after the Glasgow game,” said Tuck. “They really out-played us in the fourth quarter and it just goes to show you that in this league you can’t pull up before the finish, you need to play a full 40 minutes.”

He added: “In a season like this it’s all about being mentally tough. No matter what is happening on the court you still have to come in everyday ready to work. So many of our losses have been in tight games so we are right there, just not closing them out.”

Despite their recent run, Atiba Lyons’ side still occupy a play-off place, and with games in hand on a number of the teams around them.

They travel to Worcester Wolves tonight, and meetings between the two teams rarely disappoint, the previous two contests decided by three points or less.

Tuck knows it is one of the most difficult places to play, but has confidence in those around him that they can prosper, not only on Friday, but into the post-season.

He added: “Worcester has a lot of weapons and play good team basketball.

“Each time we’ve seen them in the Championship this year it has been a close game. Containing their guards and keeping their bigs off the boards will be key for us.

“We still have a lot of games left to play so we still have time to gain some momentum, push for a good seed, and make a run in the play-offs.”