Sheffield Sharks and Mike Tuck left to rue what might have been after BBL play-off exit

Sheffield Sharks’ elimination from the BBL play-offs feels like an opportunity missed for a talented squad.

That’s the verdict of long-standing captain Mike Tuck following the Sharks’ 172-155 aggregate defeat to Glasgow Rocks over the weekend.

Sharks won the first leg up in Scotland on Friday night but a groin injury picked up during the game by point guard Rodney Glasgow Jnr, coupled with the longer-term absence of Antwain Johnson, meant that Sheffield were without two point-scoring members of their backcourt for Sunday’s return leg. And that absence told as Sharks, who finished second in the regular season, were bounced from the first round of the play-offs for the second season in a row.

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“Everybody is just frustrated,” said Tuck. “We knew we had a lot more to give but unfortunately injuries played a major role.

Mike Tuck: Has a decision to make on his future as a basketball player. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

“We thought we could go all the way with this team. It’s one of those where we’ll look back and wish the basketball Gods had shone a little brighter on us.

“We lose our leading scorer and then our primary ball handler in point guard Rodney and in that second leg at home it just didn’t come to fruition. I thought we fought hard but in the end Glasgow came with more grit, they had a pretty good game plan and were very aggressive and attacked us.

“Fatigue played a major role in it. We’ve played five double-headers on successive weeks, we were short-handed, we played a big game up in Glasgow, we had the drive up there and back – they’re all factors to consider.

“It’ll be one of those where we look back and think shoulda, woulda, coulda.

The absence of Rodney Glasgow was keenly felt in the BBL play-off quarter-final second leg (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

“But we can’t get down on ourselves. We had a great season, finished second in the league for the first time in eight years, we’ve got a great group of guys on and off the court; it’s been an absolute pleasure.”

As ever in basketball, the squad will go through a major summer overhaul with most players signing just one-year contracts. Tuck was one of those and at age 39 has to decide now whether he wants to come back for a 14th season with the club.

“I’m going to take some time over the summer, talk to my family, have a meeting with the management and we’ll go from there,” he said. “I will be making a decision on that over the summer, I don’t want to make any rash decisions right now.”

Mike Tuck and the Sheffield Sharks were eliminated by the Glasgow Rocks (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)