Atiba Lyons wants Sheffield Sharks to replicate tempo in BBL play-off quarter-final second leg with Newcastle Eagles

Sheffield Sharks head coach Atiba Lyons has challenged his team to replicate the tempo they showed in the second half of Tuesday’s first leg with Newcastle Eagles for the full 40 minutes of tonight’s return fixture.

Play-off challenge: Atiba Lyons’s Sheffield Sharks face rivals Newcastle Eagles tonight at Worcester. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

Newcastle hold a slender two-point advantage going into the second leg of the BBL Championship play-off quarter-final at the neutral site of Worcester tonight (5pm).

It could have been a lot worse for Sharks who trailed by 17 points at one stage before storming back to tie the game in the dying minutes.

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Newcastle may have scored the final bucket but with only one two-pointer separating the teams that finished fourth and fifth in the regular season, Lyons wants his players to view this eliminator as a one-off game.

“The tie is so close that you don’t have to over-strategise or try anything too gimmicky,” he said.

“We’ve got a good measuring stick as coaches as to what we did right and what we did wrong.

“We’ve just got to go out now and execute. Some of our offence we were only 50-50 on in terms of execution and same with our defence.

“There was a bit of miscommunication out there.

“Now we’ve had a good look at them we should be able to put that right.

“I thought Newcastle shot the ball better than I gave them credit for, but they were able to put a lot of pressure on our defence. Obviously in the second half we defended much better.

“If we can play with that tempo and pace for the full 40 minutes we’ll put ourselves in a much better position.”

Leicester Riders and London Lions booked their place in the semi-finals last night while Plymouth Raiders and Worcester Wolves play their second leg after Sheffield’s game tonight.

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