Sharks player-coach Atiba Lyons says this year has been his most challenging season of his career.
Despite a top three finish in the championship and retaining the BBL Cup with a sparkling performance in the final, Lyons thinks the overall strength of the league has made it a very tough campaign:
“I felt this season was one of the most taxing seasons of my coaching or playing career.
“The league was so strong top to bottom making every game a must win after the Christmas break.
“Also, in past years going into the last month it is clear who will be sitting on top of the league or at least in the top four position. This was never clear until the final weekend of the season.
“Coming into the season we had to make a few changes to the roster. Everyone knows in this league continuity goes a long way as well as having players experienced playing the BBL.
“My guys put in the effort in to turn a solid season into a great year after the Christmas break. Now as long as we keep our focus and play together I feel we can do something special in the playoffs.”
Sharks meet Glasgow Rocks at the EIS tomorrow (Friday) night in the first leg of the play-offs quarter-finals with the away fixture on Monday.
Leading scorer Steve Dagostino says the disappointment of missing out on the league title was eased slightly by the 83-73 victory over Mersey in Sharks’ final match last Friday at the EIS:
“With way BBL is playing out this season, anyone can win it. I think we will take some momentum into the play-offs from beating Mersey.
“We knew that they’d play all their players after winning the league but we wanted to get the win. Mentally it will be in the back of their heads if we meet again.”