DBL Sharks Sheffield: We can thrive against Newcastle says coach Lyons

Sharks coach Atiba Lyons
Sharks coach Atiba Lyons

DBL Sharks Sheffield head coach Atiba Lyons is confident his side can match up to a high-flying Newcastle Eagles side on Friday night.

The Sharks travel to the Eagles having levelled their season record to 5-5 last time out after beating Surrey Scorchers 80-83, bouncing back immediately from a BBL Cup quarter final defeat to Glasgow Rocks the previous day.

And Lyons is wary of the threat of both the sides the Sharks face this weekend - first the Eagles and then Cheshire Phoenix on Sunday.

“We came back from a small lead in the fourth quarter against Surrey and we kept our composure,” said Lyons.

“We made free throws and got the turnovers we needed to. It was great to see that the guys didn’t drop their heads and they stayed focused when they needed to. I’m really proud of them for that.”

Lyons was also pleased with the contribution of latest signing Rashawn Rembert, who scored a total of 38 points in his first two games as a Shark last weekend.

“I think Rashawn has hit the floor running,” said Lyons. “He’s a confident shooter and knows how to make the right plays at the right time. He gives that scoring touch that we’ve lacked at times so far this season.”

But while the Sharks sharpened up their offense last time out, Lyons is still wary of a dangerous Newcastle side which holds a 9-1 record so far in 2016/17.

“Newcastle will be tough, they’re always tough at home,” he said. “They do a good job of keeping the continuity so they always seem to have very good starts. It’s hard to beat them early season as they still have that continuity.

“We’re still trying to build that and that’s the challenge for us – to play at that level of composure.

“As long as we can play with those attributes, we’ll be fine.”

Lyons realises that his side could come out of this weekend with a positive record for the first time this season - but says it’s not something he or his players are thinking about.

“It is there but it’s not something I’m focused on. I don’t look much past this game – right now, Newcastle is the game I’m concentrating on, then Cheshire - that’s it.”