Basketball: Anxious wait for Nemeth

The England coach, Laszlo Nemeth, may have to endure watching four consecutive days of Budweiser League and League Trophy games before knowing how many of his players will be fit for the opening game in their European Championship group, in Denmark on Wednesday, 26 November.

Nine games are scheduled between the previous Thursday and Sunday, with Chester Jets facing Derby Storm and London Towers at home to Sheffield Sharks only hours before the team assemble on Sunday evening.

Nemeth is likely to select up to five players from clubs on the Continent, where many leagues have scrapped their programmes for the weekend preceding the championship games. But with probably half the squad to come from league clubs, Nemeth will anxiously be scanning for injuries.

England's schedule has been known since May, but according to the league's chief executive, Mike Smith, the English Basketball Association only recently requested the postponement of some games.

The request was on the agenda of a meeting last night between the league and the association, before which Smith said: "There are many implications to be considered."As yet no preparation is planned for the team before playing Germany in a friendly in Dusseldorf on Monday, 24 November.

The first round of fixtures is completed against Spain in Plymouth on Saturday 29 November and against the Ukraine in Guildford the following Wednesday.

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