Basketball: Sharks vow to learn from defeats

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SHEFFIELD Sharks coach Atiba Lyons believes his team can benefit from their loss on Sunday at London Lions ahead of Saturday’s BBL Trophy final against Leicester Riders, writes Richard Fidler.

With Sheffield being underdogs against league leaders Leicester, Lyons thinks the defeat in the capital will bring his young squad back down to earth.

He said: “Sometimes a defeat can help highlight holes in your play that need reinforcing to the team.

“We knew it was going to be tough in London - they’re a good home team. But we probably weren’t mentally prepared.”

Lyons is under no illusions that the Sharks are very much underdogs in the Trophy final against a very strong Riders team.

Leicester have beaten Sheffield four times this season. Not only that, but the closest margin was a 90-70 defeat in the first leg of the BBL Cup semi-final in November.

The heaviest loss was 75-45 in the second leg a week later in Leicester.

Lyons said: “We’ve played them enough times now to know they’re a very good team. They’re very strong defensively, but every time we’ve played them we’ve shot the ball poorly - so that’s something we need to improve.

“Like all good teams they don’t rely on one man. Any one of four or five players can lead them offensively.

“Defensively their main man is Andrew Sullivan. He sets the tone for their defence.”

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