Basketball: Sharks aim for title as Tuck warns team against complacency

Mike Tuck in action for the Sharks against Birmingham Knights earlier this season. Pic: Dean Woolley.
Mike Tuck in action for the Sharks against Birmingham Knights earlier this season. Pic: Dean Woolley.

Sharks captain Mike Tuck says his team’s attentions have turned to winning the BBL Championship after their Trophy exit.

Sheffield are in a three-way fight with Worcester Wolves and Newcastle Eagles for the league title with reigning champions Leicester Riders keeping an eye open for any slip-ups from the leading contenders in fourth.

Tuck said, although it was disappointing to lose on Wednesday evening at the Wolves in the Trophy semi-final, he is encouraging his teammates to switch their focus to winning the club’s first league title since 2003.

He told The Star: “It was a blow to be knocked out of the Trophy after winning it last year but we’re right there in the league and we have a good chance in that.

“At this stage of the season it is all about getting the wins. We have more games to play than Newcastle and Worcester but we feel we have enough in the squad to go on a run.”

Sharks, who take on bottom of the table Birmingham Knights tonight at the English Institute of Sport (7.30pm), have 11 games left this season.

They’re six points behind Wolves, who lead the league, and Newcastle in second.

However, Sheffield have two games in hand on Worcester and three on the Eagles, who play Leicester this evening in the north-east.

The Knights have yet to win a match this season but Tuck says he won’t be taking the visitors lightly.

“I don’t like these kinds of games,” he said. “It’s their first season in the league and the thing they’ve suffered most is a lack of experience.

“They have some good players in their team and will be looking to get their first win of the year.”

American power forward Demetrius Jemison made a return for the Sharks on Wednesday after injury. Coach Atiba Lyons is expected to increase his minutes during tonight’s game.