Sheffield Sharks face pivotal period in play-off race against Newcastle Eagles and Leicester Riders

Seemingly adrift of fourth place a few weeks ago, Sheffield Sharks can take a big step towards clinching it over the course of the next seven days.

For the sixth-placed Sharks play Newcastle Eagles, the team who currently occupy fourth, at the Canon Medical Arena on Sunday (3pm). And then five days later they welcome Leicester Riders, another famous British Basketball League name, who are currently fifth in a period that has all the hallmarks of a pivotal one. Whoever finishes fourth has two home games in the best-of-three series in the first round of the play-offs.

Head coach Atiba Lyons believes his Sharks are warming up nicely, but need to get hot soon.

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"We’re still trying to find a good rhythm,” he admitted. “We’re playing better, we’re starting to play as a unit, but I still think we've got a long way to go and only a short amount of time to get there.

Sheffield Sharks head coach Atiba Lyons. (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)Sheffield Sharks head coach Atiba Lyons. (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)
Sheffield Sharks head coach Atiba Lyons. (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

"We have enough to compete, but I think if we can pull together at the right time we can have a special end to the season.

"There’s no magic wand, but I’m very confident in the guys and they’re playing really well right now.

On their home court, Sharks have been strong, boasting a 10-3 record. on the road they are 4-12, though their last performance could be their biggest yet, a win in Newcastle last Friday that gives them the series head-to-head over Newcastle which can be clinched on Sunday.

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"It was good to put ourselves in a position like that down the stretch against a team we may see later down the road,” said Lyons, whose Sharks have five of their remaining seven games on their home court.