Basketball: Cautious approach followed by Giants

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The Independent Online
SHEFFIELD SHARKS are wary of losing ground in the Budweiser League title race this weekend to the joint leaders, Manchester Giants, but elsewhere the focus will be on the commission of inquiry meeting to decide punishments following the "battle of Northgate".

Despite the cautious approach of their coach, Nick Nurse, the Giants must be odds-on for maximum points from tonight's game at Worthing Bears and tomorrow's visit from Leicester City Riders.

But the Sharks, beaten 81-77 by the Giants in their midweek uni-ball Trophy semi-final, first leg, face a difficult trip to third-placed Thames Valley Tigers tonight.

A far more daunting weekend awaits Derby Storm and Chester Jets, whose game at the Northgate Arena two weeks ago was halted after 28 seconds by fighting between both sets of players. The commission expects to announce their decision on Monday, which could include fines, suspensions and deduction of points.

Any appeals from the clubs or individuals would theoretically lead to the suspension of any punishment on players or coaches involved. The Derby coach, Bob Donewald, for example, is facing a minimum four-game ban pending appeals and his club defend a 13-point lead at Leicester on Thursday in the second leg of their uni-ball Trophy semi-final.

But Derby and Chester had to present their cases to the commission by Thursday, ruling out the option of basing any appeals by claiming new evidence.