Basketball: Expelled Donewald defiant

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The Independent Online
There are a mass of statistics in basketball, but the quickest expulsion from a game is not among them. Had it been, Bob Donewald Jnr, the Leicester City Riders' coach, would surely have set a new mark when he was thrown out of the game at London Leopards inside four minutes.

The American, at 27 the Budweiser League's youngest coach, was unrepentant yesterday in directing his criticism at Keith D'wan, one of the two officials at Thursday's game.

"I know I've got to use my head to stay in the game, but as long as we have officials out there who are too slow to keep up and make the calls, I'll say what needs to be said," Donewald said.

D'wan, like all referees, must pass an English Basketball Association fitness test before being allowed to officiate in the league.

Donewald saw red in the first minute as Eric Burks scored for Leopards and then again when he thought Leicester's Geno Ford was fouled. Donewald was already walking off the court as the second technical was being given, the maximum a coach is allowed before being expelled.

His frustrations will hardly be helped if tonight's opponents at Granby Halls, London Towers, repeat their ferocious midweek defensive performance in beating Milan 65-56 in the European Cup.

A late 18-5 run could not save the coachless Riders from losing 104-99 against Leopards, the defending champions, and now they face undefeated Towers.

"The key will be in the guard positions," said Donewald, whose side face former Rider Karl Brown and the American Danny Lewis.

"They are dominant personalities and they look to dominate their opponents," Donewald said.

"I know what I'll get out of my big guys, the key will be how the guards match Brown and Lewis."