Sheffield Sharks captain hopes ‘momentum’ will help them reach the BBL semi-finals

Written by Amos Wynn

(Photo credit: Adam Bates).

Sheffield Sharks captain, Mike Tuck, states they will take positives into the second leg of the British Basketball League quarter-finals.

The Yorkshire side head into tonight’s quarter-finals with everything to play for, after a narrow 79-77 defeat against Newcastle Eagles in the first meeting between the sides.

Tuck was pleased with the way the Sharks fought back in Tuesday’s game, after trailing by 17 points at one stage.

He said: “The resilience we had to stick with it and chip away at their lead shows a lot about us and our character. We did a great job fighting back and showed what we can do when we buckle down. It’s now about using the momentum from the second half and we are excited to right some wrongs.

“You play the first game to give yourself the best possible outcome. We head into the game trailing by two, so we will go from there and focus on winning.”

Tuck states this stage of the competition is the hardest, but believes The Sharks have what it takes.

“All our guys are professional and know what is at stake in the playoffs. It’s one of the toughest competitions because once you’re out, you’re out, and the season is over. There will be no tomorrow, we have to leave everything out there and see the best basketball from our guys.”

Despite entering the second leg on the back of three straight defeats, Tuck believes they can return to form.

“Before that we had been on a really good run and had been playing our best basketball heading into the playoffs, so I believe we can carry that mentality over. As a team we’ve peaked at the right moment. We have different guys who can step up on different occasions, which is what we need.”

As one of the longest serving players in the Sharks squad, Tuck hopes that he can use his experience to help the side.

“I’ve had every single role there, but now I’m a bit older I’m more of a leader and a voice in the locker room to guide the younger guys. I’ve had two experiences of reaching the playoff final, so I know what it takes to get there and cast light on what we need to do as a team.”

At the age of 38, Tuck admits he is enjoying every moment out on the court.

“As you get older and you can see the window closing on your career, you realise there will not be many more of these moments and it’s very important to make the most of it.

“You have to give it your best shot, the worst possible thing is to look back with regret and to think you could’ve played a little bit harder. If you go out and give it your all, no one can be mad at you.”

 

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A post shared by Mike Tuck (@miketuck15)

Buck hopes the Sharks can have a successful end to the season after a ‘rollercoaster’ 12 months during the pandemic.

“It has been a tough year for everyone, but especially in sport, with the constant testing and games being cancelled. It’s always the goal to get some silverware. It is overdue and that would be the icing on the cake.”

Written by Amos Wynn

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