Basketball: Tuck wants Sharks to stop Phoenix from rising

Mike Tuck
Mike Tuck

SHEFFIELD Sharks forward Mike Tuck expects Cheshire Phoenix to come out firing on Friday night as the Canadian looks to lead his team into the BBL Trophy final.

Tuck was in excellent form during Sharks 74-60 victory in Chester during the first leg last Sunday and he says Sheffield will get a reaction from the Phoenix at the EIS.

“They’ll come out gunning from the start,” he said.

“They’ve got 14 points to make up and will want to hit shots and get on top early.”

Sharks were clinical on the road to bring a double-digit advantage back to Sheffield for the second leg.

And although a slender defeat would see them through to the final Tuck, who led Sharks scorers alongside Micah Williams with 16 points at Cheshire, says he only has his eyes for a victory: “For our part the lead gives us a bit of a cushion to play with but we want to win. If we go out and get the victory then we’ll be through to the final anyway.

“They’ll be wanting big performances from their import players but it’s all about us really. If we play to our capabilities then we’ll win the game.”

Phoenix hope to have influential guard Jerome Gumbs available for the return leg.

Gumbs has been in good form since signing for the club last November after spells with Mersey Tigers and Plymouth Raiders.

However, an illness has kept him off the court since he scored 16 points and played all 40 minutes in a 69-60 defeat against BBL Championship leaders Leicester Riders on February 17. The Trophy final is at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena on Saturday March 9.

Sharks are selling tickets for the semi-final second leg for £5 through their website sharksbasketball.co.uk

The club has also confirmed that home fixtures on March 16, 26 and April 2 will be played in the Blue Hall at the EIS. The Blue Hall has reduced capacity so early booking of seats is being advised.

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