Basketball: Hamilton's Bears keep fighting

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The Independent Online
Worthing Bears intend battling on until the end of the season, despite the walk-out by their American trio of owner, coach and one of their leading players.

More could follow, admits new co-owner Christian Hamilton, but Bears will fulfil their weekend fixtures at home to Manchester and at Watford, and are re-building the squad to complete the Budweiser League season.

"We are expecting the rest of the players to stay, but obviously cannot prevent them from leaving," Hamilton said.

The crisis began when millionaire owner Greg Fullerton returned to America after less than three months in English basketball. Pay-cuts followed, which led to the coach Chris Jones and player Shaun Swords walking out before Tuesday's 111-80 National Cup quarter-final defeat by Birmingham Bullets.

Since then the American Ryan Williams, the former England player Steve Nelson and Gary Smith have said they will stay with new coach Neil McElduff until the end of the season.

NATIONAL CUP Semi-finals: Thames Valley Tigers v Birmingham (10 and 17 Decemeber); London Towers v Leicester Riders (11 and 18 December).

- Richard Taylor