Leeds Force are looking to be the pride of Yorkshire this weekend when they take on the Sheffield Sharks at the Carnegie Sports Arena, tomorrow (4pm start).
A lot rides on the game as the two Yorkshire sides come head to head for the final time this season with the series tied at 1-1.
Force coach Matt Newby is looking forward to the game as a way to showcase the standard of basketball in this part of the country.
He said: “There are two very good teams matching up on Sunday and it will be good to show how far basketball has come in Yorkshire. The aim is to get basketball as one of the top sports in the area and the two teams have the chance to put on a real show.”
Despite there being all to play for in the game, coach Newby played down the rivalry between the two sides. He said: “We prepare for all the games the same, with the same goal, same level of intensity so this game is no different.”
The form of the Force coming into the game hasn’t been the best, coming off the back of a heavy defeat to the Bristol Flyers the Force were then swept aside by the Newcastle Eagles.
Newby believes there was an improvement in the performance in Newcastle and his players are looking to build on that come tomorrow.
He added: “I think we shot the ball better in the second half against the Eagles. They had the bit between their teeth having been in a bit of poor form themselves but they raised their game and we need to do the same against the Sharks.”
Newby is aware that the test against the Sharks will be a lot harder than the one they faced in the first game of the season where they came out 79-58 winners.
He said: “I am aware they are not the same outfit we faced earlier in the season. There has been a lot of changes in the team and they are back up in the top four teams in the league.”
The Force felt the power of the new Sharks line up when the two met back in December when Sheffield won 83-44.
Captain Armand Anebo is the only injury concern going into the game with his troublesome knee. He is expected to be fit but requires monitoring.