Basketball: Cunningham's return

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The Independent Online
Alan Cunningham, the 40-something veteran who announced his retirement at the end of last season, is back at Wembley Arena tonight pitching for a spot in a London Towers line-up decimated since winning the Budweiser League title four months ago.

Cunningham returns to his favourite court playing against FC Porto in the Sainsbury's Classic semi-finals. The Greek club Peristeri play Athletes In Action in the other semi-final, with the play-offs tomorrow.

Cunningham, who previously played for London coach Kevin Cadle at Kingston, Guildford and Glasgow, won every domestic honour in a 14-year career and was tempted during the summer by a final big pay day with the Greek club Iraklio after leaving Worthing Bears.

But illness in his family brought Cunningham back and Cadle says: "Alan has the experience of playing in Europe and in England and I just hope he can hit the mark for us, because we need help quickly."

London play the first of 10 European Cup games next Wednesday, against Verona in Italy, and their plans have been further disrupted by the league's controversial ruling to permit five foreigners per team this season. English basketball is now completely out of step with the rest of the Continent and London will be allowed to use only two foreigners in cup games.