Basketball: Sharks vow to stay focused

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SHEFFIELD Sharks have the chance to put themselves in line for some silverware tomorrow night when they try to defend a 14 point lead against Cheshire Phoenix in the second leg of their BBL Trophy semi-final at the EIS.

The Sharks performed efficiently in the first leg in Cheshire last Sunday as a dominating third quarter saw them win 74-60.

It was further evidence that Sharks are able to be victorious by using strong defence even when they’re not playing their most fluid basketball on offence.

Sharks’ forward Andrew Bridge isn’t taking anything for granted ahead of the second leg despite the double-digit advantage for his team: “It was a good result, we weren’t overly happy with our performance offensively but we played good defence and put ourselves in a decent position to hopefully advance.

“It’s not done yet, though. I’ve been in situations where we’ve been up by 23 after the first leg and lost the second by 22 points, so anything can happen.

“We need to stay focused, have a good preparation and we’ll see what will happen.

“No one stood out offensively, I think we had a good spread of scorers with five in double figures, but we all contributed defensively and did a decent job sticking to the scoring report.

“Mike Tuck had a lot of rebounds for us, but we need to be a bit more efficient offensively. They had a game plan that kept us to 74 points, and both teams will look to make adjustments.”

Bridge expects key Phoenix guard Jerome Gumbs to return for the second leg.

He said: “I’m not sure why Jerome Gumbs missed the game, it must have been pretty serious to miss a semi-final, so hopefully he’ll get better and I expect he’ll play on Friday.”

Sharks travel to London Lions on Sunday in the BBL Championship.