Sheffield Sharks can upset form book and beat Leicester Riders

Sheffield Sharks' Kyle Odister. Picture: Andrew Roe
Sheffield Sharks' Kyle Odister. Picture: Andrew Roe
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Sheffield Sharks guard Kyle Odister believes his side can complete their early season goal and beat Leicester Riders in the Play-Off title at The O2, on Sunday.

“It was the goal from the beginning of the season, so winning a Championship heading into the off-season would be considered a mission accomplished,” the American said. “It’s always a good feeling to know that the hard work throughout the year has paid off. Sunday will be the finishing touch to truly showcase how much work we put in this year.”

Win, lose and draw. Every possible result has been played out by the two teams this season having met six times in all competitions. Sharks handed the league champions their first regular season loss back in November and know that a repeat success would end a 12-year wait to recapture the Play-Offs title.

Odister said. “We have played Leicester a number of times and have given them one of their very few losses. We have had some close battles with them and we look forward to this weekend’s Championship game.”

Sheffield are the underdogs although not as drastically as when they upset the odds by claiming the BBL Trophy crown in 2013.

“Despite our record, we feel we are major threats in the BBL,” declared Odister. “But we must keep Leicester out of transition and off the glass. It’s going to have to be a team win with contributions from everyone to defeat a balanced Riders.”

Leicester are a game away from emulating their historic treble success in the 2012-13 season.

Rob Paternostro’s side won the BBL Trophy in February before wrapping up the league title on the final weekend of the regular season.

Riders forward Shane Walker believes his team are on the brink of history.

“We’ve done great things this year, but winning on Sunday would cement our legacy in history,” he declared.

“It would mean the world and is one of those things you tell your grandchildren about.

“It’s an awesome feeling to be one of four teams left playing in the UK, and to be playing at The O2 is the icing on the cake.

“It’s been a special season which I’ve enjoyed immensely.”