Lyons feels the heat as sharks face tough test

Sheffield Sharks v Cheshire Jets EIS Sheffield. 'Olu Babalola leaps and shoots
Sheffield Sharks v Cheshire Jets EIS Sheffield. 'Olu Babalola leaps and shoots

Sheffield Sharks player-coach Atiba Lyons is expecting a tough match tomorrow when he leads his team against a much-improved Guildford Heat at the EIS.

Lyons, who goes into the game four defensive rebounds away from his 500th in BBL Championship games, says that Heat coach Creon Raftopoulos has significantly strengthened his line up: “Creon has really improved his roster by signing Drew Lasker.

“He fits his system very well, and along with Mike Martin they are a very tough duo to defend. I’m surprised with their poor start to the season, but to be honest it will be a whole new team we are facing. They will be very good in the open court and spread the floor.”

Sharks returned to action last Friday with an accomplished 90-77 win over Cheshire Jets even without the injured Justin Dobbins and Jimmy Langhurst, who was out of the country waiting for his working visa.

Lyons was pleased with how his side played as they picked up their fifth win in six Championship games: “Olu (Bablola) and Nate (Reinking) played well. They made some clutch shots down the stretch. Adam Brown played a strong aggressive game against us.”

Raftopoulos said Lyons has rebuilt his team well after losing key players during the summer: “Atiba has team of experienced players all capable of having a big game and putting up game winning numbers.

“Atiba has recruited real well but it’s not easy for any coach to instil your style of play after losing four impressive starters in Patton, Williams, Dagastino and Stout. I know the more time they are together the better they will get.”