Basketball: Chester stay ahead of the pack

Billy Singleton scored 19 points and grabbed 18 rebounds for Chester Jets as they beat Manchester Giants 76-68 last night to stay two points clear of the Budweiser League ahead of Sheffield Sharks, who had a double- win weekend.

Chester took control after a 13-0 run gave them a 45-40 lead in the third quarter at home to Giants and sealed victory with a 6-2 spurt which put them 75-63 ahead with 25 seconds to play.

The Sharks were on a roll at the start of last night's game with Thames Valley Tigers, going 14-0 ahead to win 95-71. On Saturday they made another quick start to lead 20-2 at Derby Storm on their way to an 89-76 victory.

The Leopards, who beat Sheffield in last week's National Cup final, suffered a double hangover. They lost 101-87 at Worthing Bears in the League on Saturday night, less than a week after winning their first trophy in the National Cup Final. They felt the force of Worthing's Anthony Thomas, who scored 30 points before being carried from the court in the last minute with damaged ligaments. Last night they were beaten 92-90 at London Towers in the second leg of the 7-UP League Trophy quarter-final.

The Towers led by 32 points from last week's first leg and join Sheffield, Chester and Leicester City Riders in the last four. Newcastle had their first win in six games last night with a 93-87 win over the Bears, after losing 91-89 at Leicester on Saturday.

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