Basketball: Tuck is ready for Sharks Trophy defence to begin

Sharks captain Mike Tuck. Pic: Dean Woolley.

Sharks captain Mike Tuck. Pic: Dean Woolley.

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Sharks forward Mike Tuck is relishing the prospect of playing this season’s BBL Trophy as the reigning champions.

Sheffield won the Trophy last season with a brilliant performance against Leicester Riders in Glasgow last March.

It was the only British Basketball League competition that Leicester didn’t win last season after Sharks executed their game plan to perfection to clinch a 71-69 victory with two BJ Holmes free throws in the final 10 second of the match.

Sharks begin their defence of the Trophy tomorrow with a potentially tricky match at National League Division One form team Reading Rockets.

Sheffield captain Tuck said he was looking forward to beginning this year’s tournament but warned that playing Reading will be a tough test.

He said: “It feels great going into this competition as the Trophy holders.

“Reading are one of the better teams in the EBL. They have a few international guys and I think even beat Plymouth in the pre-season. So they definitely won’t be a push over.

“For us it’s all about having had a good week of practice and preparing ourselves for this game.”

There has already been one Trophy shock this season with National League side Bristol Academy Flyers beating BBL club Surrey United 91-75 on Thursday evening.

Surrey have struggled this season but is shows that being in the top level of British basketball is no guarantee of success.

Rockets captain Danny Carter is confident his team will perform well against Sheffield: “Anybody who watches our team will notice how hard we compete and how unselfish we are as a group.

“We are a dangerous team that executes well but more importantly we are all allowed to play our own game in our system which is a real testament to how great a job our coach is doing this year.”