Promising signs for Sheffield Sharks in BBL title hunt

Sheffield Sharks will close out 2018 at home to the Manchester Giants tomorrow afternoon hoping to strengthen their position in the chase for silverware.

LEADING MAN: Sheffield Sharks' Chris Alexander. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Sharks, who have not won a competition since lifting the BBL Play-offs in 2016, occupy second place in the BBL Championship standings going into the final game of the year.

A deserved 94-85 victory in overtime at Glasgow Rocks last night strengthened their position in pursuit of London Lions.

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After a shaky start they have found their feet, putting together an eight-game winning streak in the league that included the notable scalps of Leicester Riders and Newcastle Eagles, the two dominant forces in British basketball in recent seasons.

That such a sequence was bookended by defeats to the London Lions in the league and then the BBL Trophy knockout phase on the Friday before Christmas, underlines how far ahead of the pack the men from the capital have been this season.

Nevertheless, Sheffield – who were BBL Trophy finalists last year – can feel optimistic going into 2019 that a sustained challenge for silverware can be mounted.

To continue that they must gain redemption for an opening-day loss to Manchester inflicted on them by the Giants back in September.

Tomorrow’s game (4pm tip-off) is the first of three home games in a row for Atiba Lyons’ side with Leicester Riders and Worcester Wolves due at the English Institute of Sport over the next two Friday nights.

In Glasgow last night Chris Alexander and captain Mike Tuck led the way with 24 points each, while Dirk Williams chipped in with 19 points and Rob Marsden collecting 11.