Sheffield Sharks versus Esh Group Eagles Newcastle, Tuesday 25th February 2013
One Health Sharks Sheffield will be looking to avoid a backlash from Esh Group Eagles Newcastle when the visitors arrive at the EIS.
Fab Flournoy and his team will no doubt still be stinging from their BBL Trophy quarter-final exit last weekend, but with the Sharks particularly strong at home, it looks like being a tough assignment for the north-east club to bounce straight back.
Sharks will recognise this encounter presents a seriously big opportunity to further boost their BBL Championship prospects and with head-coach Atiba Lyons in search of his 150th win at the helm, it would be a perfect time to attain it.
“We’re all excited to play against the Eagles,” confirmed Olu Babalola (pictured), who once plied his trade on Tyneside.
“Both teams have a lot to play for, since we both have an eye on the league and also the head-to-head.”
Sharks have had the benefit of some extra rest and the ex-Eagles man believes Sharks will head into the match-up firing on all cylinders.
He explained, “I think it will be a high intensity game.
“From our perspective, we’ve had a good week of practice and we are confident.
“We also know that they shoot the ball very well in our gym, so we need to come out with plenty of energy and understand what we’re playing for.”
From an Eagles’ perspective, another chance of silverware ebbed away against Wolves last time out, but they are still in a great position to strike for the BBL Championship.
And, Flournoy will feel a whole lot better after being dumped out of the BBL Trophy if he can respond with two wins this week, firstly against Sharks and then against Wolves on Friday.
If he does manage to win both crunch games, he will become only the second BBL coach to reach the landmark figure of 400 victories – with Wolves’ head-coach Paul James the current leader!
Last time they met:
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 69 One Health Sharks Sheffield 59 (BBL Championship, Sport Central, 07/02/2014)
What they say:
Eagles’ player-coach Fab Flournoy: “Playing Tuesday is unusual, but in many ways it’s better to be playing quickly again when coming off a loss. It will also be an extremely tough challenge, since Sheffield have a phenomenal home record this season and are still very much in the mix for the league title.”