Cup-winners home in on more silverware

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Leading scorer Steve Dagostino has targeted the play-offs for glory after Sharks ended the regular season in third position.

With the BBL Cup already to their name this year the Sharks finished two points behind league champions Mersey Tigers and level with second-placed Newcastle Eagles.

Both clubs beat Sharks 2-1 in the individual season series, which, in the end, was the difference between third and a first league crown since 2003.

Dagostino says the disappointment of missing out on top spot was eased slightly by the 83-73 victory over Mersey in Sharks’ final match last Friday at the EIS.

He said: “With the way BBL is playing out this season, anyone can win it. I think we will take some momentum into the play-offs from beating Mersey. We knew they’d play all their players after winning the league but we wanted the win. Mentally it will be in the back of their heads if we meet again.”

Sharks have Glasgow Rocks to get past in the first round of the play-offs. The two-legged tie will start in Sheffield on Friday night and end north of the border next Monday.

The Rocks have had a miserable 2011, which has seen a once promising season crumble into a disappointing sixth position.

Despite Sharks easily winning the last two games between the teams, Dagostino says no one can be taken lightly. “Every team has an advantage going in with the way the play-offs are set up in the BB,” he said. “Each team has a home game so even someone like Leicester who finished eighth have a chance. Who’d want to go there (Leicester) and play?”

While Leicester – who have beaten the top three in a nine-match unbeaten home run – are best avoided, the Rocks should prove nothing more than road-bump on the way to the semi-finals for the Sharks.

In the other quarter-finals Mersey play the inform Riders, Newcastle take on Guildford Heat and fourth placed Cheshire Jets play Plymouth Raiders..