Basketball: Sharks aim to gain on rivals Riders

BJ Holmes attacks the London Lions defence in Sharks final match of 2013. Pic: Dean Woolley.
BJ Holmes attacks the London Lions defence in Sharks final match of 2013. Pic: Dean Woolley.

The Sharks will begin the new year in excellent spirits after a strong performance in their final match of 2013.

After losing their first match of the Christmas period against Glasgow Rocks, the Sharks bounced back with an 81-70 victory at the EIS against London Lions.

It was sweet revenge for Sheffield because they had been beaten heavily in the capital the last time the two teams met.

They now enter 2014 third in the BBL Championship behind leading pair Leicester Riders and Worcester Wolves.

Coach Atiba Lyons said he was pleased with how his team responded to their defeat against Glasgow.

“We had such a good start but the team underestimated how much other teams would improve after that first month.

“Now that they see teams, even like Birmingham and Surrey who are knocking on the door for wins now. Everyone is getting better and stronger.

“We’ve refocused and understand that we have to get better.”

Sharks start the new year with a chance to gain ground on Leicester.

They’ll visit the East Midlands on Saturday night hoping for a better result than the 60-40 defeat they suffered on October 5 at the same venue.

Riders will be without point guard Anthony Downing who is out of the season with a broken jaw.

Leicester appear to be favourites to retain the league title but Sharks can make their case stronger with a victory at one of their nearest rivals.