Quality counted for cup winners says Lyons

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Sharks coach Atiba Lyons doesn’t believe his team will receive any extra attention despite winning the BBL Cup so convincingly on Sunday.

Lyons’ saw his team totally outplay league leaders Mersey Tigers with a devastating display of hard defence and controlled offence.

But such has been Sharks’ reputation over the years that Lyons says the club are always a target for the opposition no matter their league position or success:

“There are a few teams in the league where everyone else gets up for them and I think we’re one of those.

“We’ve always been in the top three or four this season so I think it will be much the same. We just need to keep on worrying about us and don’t worry about anyone else.”

Lyons had no worries on Sunday as his game plan unfolded perfectly. Big man Paul Williams caused problems for Mersey early on, which allowed space to develop for the guards; in particular MVP Steve Dagostino.

It was in stark contrast to 2010 when One Health sponsored-Sharks had to cling on as Cheshire Jets fought back from a 20 point deficit to get within one shot of taking the lead.

Lyons said it is the quality of his players that made the difference this year. He praised the contribution of mid-season signing Olu Babalola who ended the match with an excellent stats line of 14 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals:

“This year we’re a bit more skilled in the guards and we took care of the ball better.

“Last year we made a lot of turnovers to give Cheshire momentum, this year we ran our offence and got a shot off on most plays.

“That’s what I expect from Olu, he’s a big time player. I got on his back a bit and told him to step up. He’s our veteran and has to lead from the front.”