SHEFFIELD Sharks are heading into a crucial weekend of matches says player-coach Atiba Lyons.
After being comprehensively dumped out of the BBL Cup last weekend by silverware chasing Leicester Riders, Lyons wants his team to respond by picking up victories over clubs who will be challenging for play-off positions.
The Sharks are in a re-building season but there have been promising signs recently after bringing in American pair Demtrius Jemison and BJ Holmes.
And now Lyons says this weekend’s matches against Glasgow Rocks on Friday at the EIS and away at the newly named Cheshire Phoenix will be the opportunity to show that the Sharks will be a strong team during the second half of an otherwise disappointing campaign.
He told The Star: “These are the types of games that we have got to start winning - we have to pick up some of these games against teams around us in mid-table.
“The last time we went into one of these matches was away at London Lions. We were leading in the fourth quarter but then we fell apart.
“These are the games that separate you from the bottom of the league.”
Sharks are ninth in the BBL Championship after 12 matches. The top eight teams make the end of season play-offs. They sit four points behind eighth place Phoenix with two games in hand and are also four points behind the Rocks, although Sheffield have played one match more.
Cheshire have been renamed the Phoenix after the previous ‘Cheshire Jets’ franchise ran into financial difficulties. The club were operated for several weeks by the BBL before an action group raised £50,000 to secure the future of the club.