Sheffield Sharks v Bristol Flyers - Home comforts give Sharks Cup advantage

Sheffield Sharks coach Atiba Lyons on the sidelines (Picture: Dean Atkins)
Sheffield Sharks coach Atiba Lyons on the sidelines (Picture: Dean Atkins)
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Sheffield Sharks put their undefeated home record on the line when they host Bristol Flyers in the quarter-final of the BBL Cup tomorrow (4pm).

The Sharks moved back to Ponds Forge in the summer after more than a decade at the English Institute of Sport, and the change in venue has done nothing to quell their appetite as they rode to second spot in the BBL Cup North Group on the back of their impenetrable home form.

We must be doing something right because we haven’t lost there this season and it’s proving a really tough place to come.

Mike Tuck

That earned Atiba Lyons’ side a home quarter-final as they chase a first piece of silverware since 2016.

Captain Mike Tuck said: “It’s been a good transition. It’s been no different for some of the guys who only joined in the summer, but for players like me who called the EIS home for 10 years, it’s been a transformation.

“But we must be doing something right because we haven’t lost there this season and it’s proving a really tough place to come. The attendances are growing game by game. We play more on Sundays than Fridays now and that can clash with Sheffield United, for instance, but the fans have bought into the move.”

Sharks’ form not just at Ponds Forge has been impressive, even if they were blown away by Leicester Riders in the opener.

“We’ve gelled together really well, a lot quicker than we expected we would,” said Tuck.

“That first game was the key. We’d had a good pre-season and went into the BBL Cup feeling confident, only to get our butts kicked in the first game.

“That was a wake-up call. We realised there and then that we’re not a team that can rely on one guy doing everything, we have got to work as a collective.

“We have got so many weapons on the court now that if someone is struggling, then someone else will step up and take charge.”