D-Day for Sharks in title charge

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IT’S now or never for the Sheffield Sharks as they travel to league leaders Mersey Tigers tonight.

A magnificent seven-match unbeaten run has put the Sharks back in the hunt for their first BBL Championship title since 2003.

And with three meetings with Mersey in their final six matches there is a real chance that Sheffield could overtake the Liverpool-based club.

The other team in the title picture, Newcastle Eagles, suffered a major blow with news that shooting guard Trey Moore may be out for the rest of the season with a foot injury.

Sheffield have already beaten Tigers once this season in the BBL Cup final. It was an embarrassing occasion for Mersey, who as favourites were crushed by 27 points.

Tigers coach Tony Garbelotto rates the Sharks highly: “For me they probably have the most talented team in the league. They have shown that on their day they can beat anyone. They have great balance, size and strength and play well together. Atiba [Sharks player-coach Lyons] has done a great job with this team.

“For us these three games will go along way to deciding the league. We did not do one single thing well the last time we played and that’s why they killed us in the Cup Final. Anything we do better has to be an improvement on that game.”

Sharks hero in the final was Steve Dagostino. The Italian-American made eight three-pointers on his was to 35 points. Garbelotto rates the first year Sharks point-guard very highly:

“It’s hard to single out any one player for them, but [Steve] Dagostino is playing superb basketball at this moment in time. Stout has also been super consistent over the season.”