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Basket ball: England's European glory

Denmark 64 England 72
England's players and their coach, Laszlo Nemeth, underprepared, underfunded and under pressure to produce a minor miracle in Fredricksberg last night, stormed to a priceless away victory in their opening European Championship semi-final group game to beat the Danes.

Nemeth, a 46-year-old Hungarian, said: "I'm ecstatic." His team's preparation comprised just three training sessions and 48 minutes against Germany in Dusseldorf on Monday.

"The response of the players was fantastic. This was a tremendous team effort because Denmark are dangerous opponents."

John Amaechi with 17 points, Roger Huggins, 13, and Ronnie Baker, 12, led England's scorers, but an outstanding individual defensive display by Steve Bucknall was pivotal. Baker hit a three-pointer in the final stages for a 63-61 lead and England led from then on.

Bucknall, one of seven players joining the team from Continental clubs, ensnared the danger man, Klaus Hansen, forcing him to foul out as he was led their fightback. Bucknall scored eight points and Silas Cheung hit two three-pointers on an impressive debut to keep up the momentum in the second half.