Basketball: Bears boosted by Giants' rift

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The Independent Online
WORTHING BEARS, the defending champions, capitalised on the turmoil at Manchester with a 93-90 win over the Giants last night to move alongside them at the top of the Budweiser League, writes Duncan Hooper.

The Giants were without a number of players: Jeff Jones, who ended a 16-year association with Manchester basketball by leaving the club on Friday, Trevor Gordon, the suspended England international, and the American, Joe Hillman, whose temporary absence is linked to Jones's departure.

Under Rick Taylor, the managing director and stand- in coach, Manchester beat Hemel Hempstead 90-66 on Saturday, but Worthing were in predatory mood. They took control in the second quarter and survived after a late three- pointer from Kurt Samuels.

Guildford Kings won 85-72 at Sunderland Scorpions despite being barred from playing Doug Arnold, their new American import, and the absence of injured Alton Byrd.

Barry Dow, the Kings' owner, convinced Mike Smith, the League chief executive, last week that he had secured new backing from American sponsors and would clear the back- pay owing to his players. Smith warned Dow, however, that until then he would not allow Arnold to play. 'I have a responsibility to protect those players who have been owed money since the start of the season and cannot allow Arnold to be paid while they are still out of pocket,' Smith said.