Sheffield Sharks: We’ll cope in the O2 cauldron insists Lyons

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Sheffield Sharks coach Atiba Lyons has backed his side to cope on the big stage in the BBL play-off final this weekend.

The Sharks booked their place at the O2 Arena after a tight two-legged affair with Glasgow Rocks over the weekend

And on Sunday they face the might of league winners Leicester Riders in the cavernous space of the O2 in London.

“It will probably be a bit overwhelming at first,” Lyons admitted to BBC Radio Sheffield.

“It’s a big arena. I’ve been there for NBA games and stuff.

“But this team is one of those that doesn’t really get flustered by anything.

“They put their heads down and play. And these guys have all played on big stages in the past.

“If it’s a big crowd or not, once the ball is jumped, we don’t really care.”

Lyons spoke of his delight at securing a place in the play-off final, revealing it has been a tough season on and off the court for many in the Sharks camp.

He said: “It feels remarkable.

“They’re a group of guys, and I’ve said it a lot, that are fun to coach. I really enjoy learning with them.

“This season has been tumultuous, we’ve had so many different issues on and off the court.

“Guys hurt, guys having different family issues, stuff that is maybe not public. Even our management, and so many different elements to our team this year that has been rough.

“But in spite of it all, when you look on the court you wouldn’t notice it.

“They’ve kept believing in what I’ve been saying and believing in each other.

“It’s a great feeling the fact we have been saying all season we can play for the final, just keep our heads down, keep working hard and finally we can say this is our reward.

“We’re into the final and I’m just happy these guys are a part of it.”