Basketball: Sharks star will be a Bridge to rivals’ secrets

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NEWCASTLE Eagles star Joe Chapman admits Sharks forward Andrew Bridge can be Sheffield’s not so secret weapon.

Veteran forward Bridge, aged 33, returned to the Sharks at the beginning of the season after spending a decade of success with the north-east club.

His experience has been vital to Sharks turning their season around after a stuttering start to the campaign.

And Chapman believes his knowledge of the Eagles squad could give Sheffield a significant advantage during the play-off quarter-final between the two clubs.

He said: “We played together for three years, and he knows all of our plays.

“He tells his guys how to guard me and Charles (Smith) so it’s a challenge to play against a former teammate.

“They’re one of the form teams at the moment after winning the Trophy, and they’ve been really good ever since.

“BJ Holmes and Nick Lewis are playing really well at the moment. Mike Tuck is always going to give you a double-double, and Bridgey (Bridge) gives them quality minutes off the bench.”

Sharks and Eagles recently played each other twice within the space of three days in Sheffield.

Newcastle won the first match 88-80 but Sheffield had their revenge in the second meeting 70-60.

The quarter-final will be contested over two legs with the first match being in Newcastle on Friday night.

Monday’s second leg (7.30pm) will be in the badminton hall at the English Institute of Sport in Attercliffe.

The Sharks are advising that they have sold out for their home leg and not to attend without a ticket.

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