Basketball: Bett deflects the accolades

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THE final shuffle of the Budweiser League pack sorts out the play-off line-up this weekend, leaving Mick Bett, coach of the champions, Thames Valley Tigers, to reflect on his club's first league title and survey the coaching carnage which saw another of his colleagues ousted this week. Derby Bucks, whose best-of- three quarter-final series against Tigers is the only definite tie of the round, sacked Terry Manghum on Wednesday after six defeats in seven games, writes Duncan Hooper.

The irony will not be lost on Bett, whose club's owner, John Nike, has never been patient with the failure of his coaches. Bett, typically, deflects on to his players the accolade for lifting two league tropies and now the league championship in the past two seasons. 'We must be about the smallest team to win the league, so that says a lot for their heart,' he said.

Now Tigers aim for their first play-off title, to be played at Wembley on 31 April and 1 May for the four survivors from the quarter-finals. In the last eight, Worthing, Manchester and Guildford joined Tigers in having home advantage, but places 5-7 will be settled between London, Leicester and Birmingham this weekend.