Basketball: Sharks will stand firm when Eagles aim knockout punch

Sharks captain Mike Tuck says his team will weather the Newcastle Eagles storm. Pic: Dean Woolley.
Sharks captain Mike Tuck says his team will weather the Newcastle Eagles storm. Pic: Dean Woolley.
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Sharks captain Mike Tuck says his team are prepared take Newcastle Eagles biggest ‘punch’ if it means reaching the BBL Cup final.

Sheffield travel to the north-east tonight with a three-point lead over the Eagles in the cup semi-final knowing the home side will start the match fired up on their home court.

But the experienced Tuck is confident the Sharks can deal with whatever is thrown at them.

He said: “The Eagles like to start fast and land a big first punch, if you like.

“How we deal with that initial punch is the most important thing.

“We have to weather that storm and then play our Sharks basketball.”

However you’d define Sharks style of play it seems to be working this season.

Top of the BBL Championship entering this weekend’s matches and in the semi-final of the cup, Tuck and his team have developed a never-say-die chemistry.

Last Sunday’s victory at Plymouth Raiders, where they came back from 16 points down, has given the Sharks added belief said Tuck.

“It helps you build confidence when you do that. It shows that you can do it and that you’re not going to let a game go just because you’re 10, 15 or 16 points behind.

“We’re feeling good about ourselves at the moment after that win at Plymouth.”

Sharks will also take on Birmingham Knights on Sunday (8pm) in the EIS’ Blue Hall as they aim to remain at the top of the league table.

But the Eagles match tonight is the only thing on Tuck’s mind.

“The way I look at it is that we go up there to win the match,” he said.

“Yes, we have a three-point lead but that’s just one shot.

“Newcastle Eagles always play tough on their home court - we just have to play our basketball.

“We’re a deep team this year and that helps us if we get into foul trouble.”