Riders stand between Sharks and final spot

Sheffield Sharks' Jerrold Brooks.
Sheffield Sharks' Jerrold Brooks.
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Eighty minutes of basketball over the course of just four days stands between Sheffield Sharks and the chance to play in the BBL Trophy final.

The Sharks travel Leicester Riders tomorrow in the semi-final first leg, before returning to South Yorkshire on Wednesday night for the second leg.

The duo have met three times this season already, Riders winning twice before Sheffield – who won the BBL Trophy in 1998 and 2013 – triumphed in their last game, an 85-79 victory in November.

Sharks guard Colin Sing: “Leicester are structured, each player has their role and they understand each other’s game.

“The main challenges will be to ensure to rebound the ball defensively to reduce the chance of second-chance points and contain their transition offence.”

Riders coach Rob Paternostro expects a tough game against an in-from Sharks side.

“They’re a good team, a really good rebounding team,” he said. “They do a good job on the offensive glass, Atiba [Lyons, coach] has got them playing really well so we expect it to be an intense, excellent basketball game.

Last night, the Sharks took a big step towards a top-three finish in the BBL Championship with an 81-69 victory away at Worcester Wolves.

Sheffield not only closed the gap on third-placed Wolves with their come-from-behind triumph, but also claimed the head-to-head series, which acts as a tie-breaker in the event of identical win records.

It was nip-and-tuck in the early exchanges of the fourth before point guard Jerrold Brooks began to take over, scoring and facilitating.

He finished with 19 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Antone Robinson and Mike Tuck added 14 points each.