Basketball: Lyons is happy for the games to keep coming

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SHEFFIELD Sharks coach Atiba Lyons is happy for the games to keep on coming - particularly with his team in winning form.

The Sharks tip-off tonight (7.30pm) against third-place chasing Plymouth Raiders at the English Institute of Sport for their seventh match of March and their fifth in just 12 days.

It is a testing run of fixtures, which doesn’t get any easier with Worcester Wolves at home on Friday before welcoming Glasgow Rocks to the city next Tuesday.

The only advantage in the stretch is that apart from away at London Lions on March 3 and the BBL Trophy final victory in Glasgow on March 9 the rest of the games have been at their home venue in Attercliffe.

Lyons said that fitness and staying clear of injury and illness are big concerns during busy parts of the schedule: “It’s at this time of season that people start to go down (injured). Teams that can stay healthy normally have success during this stretch.

“Whenever you win it’s great (to have lots of matches). Whenever you’re winning you want the games to keep coming because you can keep the momentum but when you lose sometimes you need to get on top of stuff - maybe more practice in between games.

“Right now we’re winning so we’re just focusing on keeping it going.”

Despite coming out top in six of their nine March games the Sharks have suffered with injury and illness.

Shooting guard Micah Williams is out with a foot injury - although a deep play-off run may see him return - and Nick Lewis, Andrew Bridge and George Brownell have all picked up a sickness bug going around the Sharks camp.

Bridge has missed the last two matches against Cheshire Phoenix and London Lions, but is expected to return tonight.

He said: “The guys who’ve played have done a really good job. It hasn’t been our best basketball of the season, but we were very good for spells against Cheshire and London, and it was enough to win the games.

“Mike Tuck had a big game on Saturday, and Olu (Babalola) hit a lot of big shots in the same game, against London. Other people have chipped in, and at the moment they’re just doing what’s needed to get the results. Hopefully in the next few days we can all get healthy.”

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