Sharks circle Hawks players

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Sharks coach Judd Flavell.

SOUTHLAND Sharks coach Judd Flavell concedes he would like the team to be a bit tighter at the defensive end of the court, but he is generally pleased with its opening five games in the 2018 National Basketball League (NBL).

The Sharks have won three games and lost two so far this season, as week by week the largely new team builds combinations.

Southland has again emerged as one of the competition favourites in this year’s NBL, given it has highlighted a wide range of scoring options this season.

The Sharks’ first four games were on the road before last Thursday night when they opened a seven-game stretch at home in Invercargill with a big 109-79 win over the Manawatu Jets.

Flavell said the first four games on the road provided the Sharks with an ideal opportunity to bond as a team and he was pleased with how the team had come together.

The Sharks headed into the season with three new overseas imports – Orlando Coleman, Jarred Weeks and Connor Morgan – who had all previously not played in the New Zealand league.

Flavell was pleased with how the trio had fitted in in such a short space of time.

“They all have their different characteristics, but they have settled in quickly and have embraced being part of the Southland community.”

One of Southland’s losses came against Hawke’s Bay on the road in week one.

The Sharks have the opportunity to right the wrongs on Saturday night when they host the Hawks at ILT Stadium Southland. It is expected to be a much tighter contest than last Thursday night’s thumping of Manawatu.

Much to the delight of Sharks fans, Flavell has also confirmed American Coleman will be fit to play after missing the last game against Manawatu.

Saturday’s game will tip-off at 7pm.

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