Basketball: Bullets blow hole in Towers' unbeaten run

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The Independent Online


Hemel and Watford Royals sacked their coach Mark Dunning at the weekend, but kept on losing, while Birmingham Bullets ended London Towers' unbeaten Budweiser League record by toppling the champions 69-62 at the National Indoor Arena.

The Bullets coach, Nick Nurse, the youngest in the League, masterminded Birmingham's Wembley play-off win last season which stopped Towers taking all the domestic titles.

This time his prescription for victory was the same. "Handle their press, let Nigel Lloyd control the tempo and stop them getting into a running game. We only turned the ball over three times in the first three-quarters of the game."

Bullets built their lead in the second and third quarters, holding London to just seven points in 10 minutes and going 22 points ahead. Nurse said: "In that stretch everything went right for us and nothing for them. The gap was too big for them to come back."

Hemel director Vince Razaq sacked Dunning after Friday's 122-56 humiliation at Sheffield Sharks, then took over for Saturday's home game with Leicester City Riders which they lost 101-78 for seven straight defeats.

Riders' American coach Bob Donewald was ejected in the second quarter and there was an other delay after their American Mo Ballard broke a back- board.

Hemel are stranded at the bottom after the season's first win for Worthing Bears, by 80-79 over Manchester Giants who added Panji Grainger to their growing injury list.