Patton salutes backcourt team

Sheffield One Health Sharks point-guard Ryan Patton has saluted the form of his backcourt team-mates ahead of tomorrow night’s trip to Newcastle Eagles.

The guard trio of Patton, Marcus Stout and Steve Dagostino have been one of the main reasons why Sharks are still contending in the league title race and already have the BBL Cup safely tucked away.

Stout (31 points) and Dagostino (27 points) were instrumental in Saturday’s impressive win at Plymouth Raiders. Patton said: “It’s always a difficult place to get a result so it was great to come out with a win.

“Marcus Stout had a great game and he does it all for us. Dags [Steve Dagostino] had a good game and Paul Williams stepped up. When we play well as a team, we’re hard to beat.”

The last time Sharks and Eagles met was on January 2 when the visitors destroyed Sharks 112-79 at the EIS. This time Newcastle will be without player-coach Fab Flournoy (pneumonia) and guard Joe Chapman (Achilles).

Patton is still expecting a tough game: “They’re always a strong team to play especially at their place. They’re a great team, and we have to be ready to play.

“I really feel for Joe Chapman, it’s never good news to hear that a player has got hurt like that and I hope he has a speedy recovery. He’s a great player and a great guy.

“Everyone knows all about Trey Moore and Charles Smith and they’re shooting the lights out at the moment. They’re a well coached team, and the other guys do the little things for them. It’s a difficult place to play at, but if we’re going to win the league we have to win the game.”

Stand-in Eagles coach Dave Forrester admitted that everything went right for his team when they last played the Sharks: “I am sure their pride was hurt by that defeat and we know they are a far better basketball team than they showed in that game.”