After last week’s superb comeback from behind victory Fury hoped to build on their momentum as they traveled to Sheffield Sabres.
Sabres were coached by former England coach Peter Scantlebury and led on court by former BBL player Locker Okorie.
Fury showed no fear as they executed superbly on offence early on with sharp cuts and nice pick and roll play. Ethan Allen again impressed with two fast break dunks generated from excellent team defence.
Sabres made inroads with second chance points as they physically dominated the Fury players. As Fury maintained a small lead several basic errors caused by rushing broke Fury’s momentum and Sabres took advantage as the wheels fell off to build a small five-point lead at the half.
In the third period Sabres upped the pressure and Fury started to lose believe in their ability to put points on the board, this most importantly led to the intensity of their defensive efforts dropping and Sabres were able to build a 15-point lead.
The Fury never say die attitude came to the forefront. A switch to zone steadied the momentum and brought the game within 10 early in the fourth, but a ‘three’ stretched the lead back to 12.
Fury then moved to their smaller line up led by Matty Roberts and Vytau Girdzius and applied full court pressure to their opponents and with three minutes to play the lead was just six, but a missed Allen lay-up and failed box out allowed Sabres to restore a more comfortable margin. Sabres were able to knock down free throws closing out the game 85-74.
Scorers: Allen 25, Roberts 15, Kerr 9.
Coach James Bamfield said: “We are all disappointed to lose a very winnable game but will continue to take forward progress from week to week.
“Early on in our campaign we struggled with full court pressure and were very slow to advance the ball but now we are zipping the ball up court at a very nice tempo, we scored 60 points purely from transition or early offence basketball.
“Defensively I was very excited by what I saw the players on court led the effort to apply pressure and our help defence was much improved.
“We need to improve our defensive rebounding as they had over 30 second chance points which spoiled our strong defensive effort, again we gave up three rebounds from free throws which really ticks me off.
“If we toughen up and get more physical on the glass we could have held them to 55 easily which would have meant a blow out victory.
“I’m also unhappy with our decision making of when to run something in the half court.
“If we are going to be a successful team in the long run we will need to know when it is time to show some composure and execute our roles within the half court game.”
Fury hope to regroup tomorrow (Saturday, November 19) at home to Warwickshire Eagles, tip-off 6pm.