Basketball: Bears' win tightens title chase

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The Independent Online
THE leading trio in the Budweiser League drew even closer in the race for this season's title when Worthing Bears, the defending champions, defeated Thames Valley Tigers 85-73, to leave the leading clubs with two defeats each.

Worthing's Friday night win, which left them second behind Manchester Giants, was inspired by a trio of successive three-pointers from Colin Irish after Tigers began the fourth quarter leading 57-50.

'Until then Colin had only scored nine points,' Mick Bett, the Tigers' coach, said. 'He nailed the first one from three or four feet outside the arc then threw up the other two. It's well within his range.'

Third-placed Thames Valley recovered with a 90-72 win at Leicester City Riders on Saturday, pulling away in the final quarter. Manchester, who lead the table after playing more games, beat ailing Guildford Kings 101-84.

Guildford's Carl Miller was injured and missed last night's 103-82 defeat at Sunderland. The Kings were also without Martin Henlan and still have no Americans.

Birmingham Bullets, who are in sixth place, increased their chances of home advantage in the play-off quarter-finals when Tyrone Thomas scored 17 points to lead them to an 89-69 win away to London. Chester Jets won 107-94 at Hemel to maintain their challenge to Sunderland and Leicester for a play-off place.

Results, Sporting Digest, page 31