SHEFFIELD Sharks coach Atiba Lyons is backing Andrew Bridge to come good after an indifferent start to the Chesterfield-born player’s second spell with the club.
Bridge, aged 33, signed with the Sharks last week just in time for the first match of the season a 71-55 defeat against Leicester Riders at the EIS.
He had enjoyed more than a decade of success with BBL powerhouse Newcastle Eagles in which time he won the title, play-offs and BBL Trophy five times and the BBL Cup twice.
However, his return to Sheffield will be a game he’ll want to forget in a hurry as he contributed just four points and made seven turnovers.
There’s no doubting Bridge’s ability. And his calmess under pressure will be an asset as the season progresses for Sheffield.
Lyons said it was a combination of Sharks being a couple of players short on their overall roster and Bridge playing a different role to what he used to.
“It was one of those nights for Andrew,” Lyons said. “He was filling in gaps where we needed him and trying to make plays and passes that we normally wouldn’t ask him to do. I think it was a problem for the team as a whole with everyone trying to step up and fill the gaps.”
Lyons is hopeful that clearance will come through this week for shooting guard Micah Williams from the Japanese Basketball Federation.
Williams played for Shimane Susanoo Magic in the Japanese League last season but hasn’t had his player registration released yet.
“We’re trying to sort it this week,” said Lyons. “It shouldn’t have been an issue.”
Lyons is still searching for a power-forward or centre to replace Nashid Beard, who was released by the club without playing a match.
Former Shark Matt Gorman is one player under consideration, but Lyons said he’ll take his time before deciding.
“I’ll have a look at how much money we have and what’s available,” he said.