No time for Sheffield Sharks to dwell on Leicester Lions loss with Manchester Giants up next

Sheffield Sharks have no time to dwell upon a Covid-induced horror show against league leaders Leicester Lions with a shot at silverware on the horizon.

Monday, 3rd January 2022, 2:05 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd January 2022, 2:06 pm

An under-strength Sheffield side, who had two fewer players than their opponents after Joe Mvuezolo and Oscar Baldwin returned positive cases, fell to a 62-100 defeat at Ponds Forge on Sunday – their biggest-ever home loss in 27 years as a BBL outfit.

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Head coach Lyons stressed the result will not be treated differently to any other loss and added: “Whether it’s a one-point loss or 100 points I still don’t like losing.”

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Sheffield Sharks head coach Atiba Lyons.

Sunday was his side’s first competitive action since their win over Plymouth City Patriots on 8 December after festive fixtures against London Lions and Glasgow Rocks respectively fell victim to Covid-19 outbreaks within their opponents’ camps.

Barring any further postponements, the Sharks will take on familiar foes Manchester Giants in the BBL Trophy first round at Ponds Forge on Sunday (tip-off 4pm).

The pair have already met twice in the BBL Cup, with the Giants taking two victories over Sheffield on their way to reaching the final, as well as in the BBL Championship, which saw a reversal of those results.

“We just want to play,” Lyons added.

"The Trophy is a great opportunity for us to get out there and give ourselves a chance of silverware.

"They (Manchester) are hyper-focused and we are in a position where we know we have underperformed.

"We want to put it right, so it should be a good test for us.”

New signing Devante Wallace could be involved for Sheffield this weekend after the 29-year-old American replaced Jonathan ‘JonJon’ Williams on the roster.

Combo guard Williams arrived in South Yorkshire this summer but found game time hard to come by and left the club by ‘mutual consent’ last week.

Lyons said a lack of action, in part due to the good form of Rodney Glasgow Jr, could have influenced the 26-year-old’s decision to move on.

“I can’t speak totally for him but I think he might have wanted more of a bigger role than he might have been having.

"Perhaps his agent wanted to push him to a different team.

"He wasn’t quite happy with us and we are not in the business of keeping people hostage.”