Basketball: ‘We can upset odds and maul the Wolves’ says Sheffield Sharks boss Atiba Lyons

Atiba Lyons

DBL Sharks Sheffield Head coach Atiba Lyons is confident his side can overturn a 10-point deficit in the second leg of their British Basketball League Cup semi-final against Worcester Wolves at EIS Sheffield on Wednesday night.

The Sharks went down 102-92 in the first leg earlier this month, when a late burst from Worcester coupled with Sharks mistakes contributed to a double-digit defeat.

But Lyons insisted that the speed at which things changed in the first leg emphasises the fact that the tie is far from over, as his side look to book their place in January’s final against Cheshire Phoenix.

“We had a good first half in the first game,” said Lyons.

“In the second half they (Worcester) made some adjustments and slowed us down. But that last 30-40 seconds we really had some mental errors which cost us six points to go down by 10.

“But that’s the kind of game it is. It’s a double-legged tie, all the points matter.

“We’ve seen both sides of the coin - you’ve seen Cheshire come back from a deficit (against London Lions) so we’ve got to play our game, it’s half time and we’ve been down by 10 many times during a game - that’s how we’ve got to approach it.”

Lyons also stressed the need for patience on Wednesday night.

“There’s no rush,” he said.

“It’s a long game, we’ll have our chances, and it’s not unobtainable - it’s not 30-35 points.

“They had a six-point swing in the last 30 seconds of the first game, so we’ve just got to play the game, nothing fancy, nothing gimmicky or special, we’ve just got to play our game when it comes to it down the stretch.”

The Sharks will face ESH Group Eagles Newcastle in the BBL Trophy quarter final following a comfortable 89-62 win over Manchester Magic at the EIS on Friday.

The Sharks came into the game after battling past Surrey Scorchers last weekend following a snow-delayed journey south, but didn’t have it all their own way early on against National Basketball League Division One side Magic.

A solid start to the game by the away side saw them open the scoring before a lay-up from Mackey McKnight levelled the game.

Tony Wroblicky and Rob Marsden impressed under both baskets, pulling down a combined total of 17 rebounds. Sharks scorers: Williams 20, Gachette 24, McKnight 13, Wroblicky 10, Alexander 9, Tuck 8, Marsden 4, Cauthorn 1.

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