Lyons banned from Trophy tie

Sharks player-coach Atiba Lyons refuses to leave the playing area after being ejected from the BBL Trophy semi-final first leg match with Newcastle Eagles at the EIS.
Sharks player-coach Atiba Lyons refuses to leave the playing area after being ejected from the BBL Trophy semi-final first leg match with Newcastle Eagles at the EIS.

Sheffield Sharks will be without player-coach Atiba Lyons for tomorrow night’s BBL Trophy second leg at Newcastle Eagles.

Lyons is serving a one-match ban for being ejected during the first leg last Friday, which saw the Sharks beaten 116-84 by a rampant Eagles team. The Sharks boss is perhaps fortunate that the BBL haven’t taken any action about his behaviour after receiving his second technical foul for arguing with the match referees.

There was a five-minute delay as Lyons initially refused to leave the arena. However, he said he had to take a stand over what he saw as poor officiating.

He said: “In a game such as this, a Trophy semi, you’d expect to have the best refereeing you can and not people who can be swayed to lean to the favourites.

“At that point it was about my team and hoping we could close the gap. There wasn’t anything malicious in my mind. I just wanted to be in a position where it was a level playing field. If I feel like things are too much against us I get frustrated like everyone.”

It is a further blow to the Sharks at a time when they need all their players. Lyons had been originally unavailable for the first leg because the Telegraph understands that rules within the British Basketball League’s structure about Sharks’ contribution to running costs mean he was deregistered as a player.

Sharks travel to title-chasing Plymouth Raiders on Sunday evening.