Basketball: ‘Kind’ words from Lyons inspire Sharks says Patrick

Sharks forward Patrick Horstmann. Pic: Dean Woolley.
Sharks forward Patrick Horstmann. Pic: Dean Woolley.

Patrick Horstmann says the Sharks have to learn from their victory on Friday night if they’re to mount a defence of the BBL Trophy.

Sheffield beat Surrey United, who had lost 17 league matches in a row, 84-64 but were criticised by coach Atiba Lyons for their slow start.

On Sunday Sharks travel to National League club Reading Rockets for the first round of the BBL Trophy.

It’s another game that Sheffield are expected to win comfortably but is the type of encounter they typically struggle to play their best in.

Horstmann said: “It’s always easy to get up for the big games like Leicester (Riders) last week or London (Lions) the week before but we’re professionals so we need to be ready to play every game regardless of who we play or where we play or when we play. It’s up to us to have a good start and not have a first quarter like that.

“It’s a big focus. We have to get ready this week and prepare regardless of whether we’re supposed to win the game by 15 or 20, we have to be sharp and ready to go.

“We have to take a lesson from Surrey and not make the same mistakes as we did.”

Horstmann said Lyons was consistently reminding his players about their intensity: “We started off sluggish but we picked it up. We can’t have another first quarter like that. Fortunately we were able to come back strong and take the game from there.

“He had a few ‘kind’ words that came through.”

Horstmann scored 15 points in the victory. He said: “I missed three free throws so I’m not really happy about those but on the whole it was okay.”

* Sharks captain Mike Tuck played nearly 25 minutes in England’s 75-66 defeat against Ireland before yesterday’s BBL Cup final in Manchester. Tuck scored six points and had five rebounds.

Leicester Riders battled back from a 12 point fourth quarter deficit to beat Newcastle Eagles 72-69 in the final.