Basketball: Danish danger for England

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The Independent Online
England open their European Championship campaign in Fredricksberg against Denmark tonight after just two training sessions, a scrimmage against Germany on Monday and with their coach, Laszlo Nemeth, able to promise only "we will do everything humanly possible to get a result''.

Nemeth's squad lost 97-74 against the powerful Germans in a game staged NBA-style over 48 minutes and four quarters, to maximise a rare chance for England's men to play together.

The 11 squad members played virtually equal minutes, but Nemeth must cut one for the Denmark game, whose domestic programme, like England's, has been affected by the Bosman aftermath.

Seven of Nemeth's squad have returned from Continental clubs, while the three leading Danes also play abroad; Mikkel Larssen in Greece, Joachim Jericho in Italy and Lars Nilssen in Germany.

Larssen is a club mate at Trier of England's new cap, the London-born Silas Cheung who impressed Nemeth on his debut against Germany in Dusseldorf.

"He's definitely an asset to the team," said Nemeth of the 6ft 3in guard who went straight from his American college to the Bundesliga.

But the key for England will centre on how 6ft 10in John Amaechi, who may join the Sheffield Sharks, 6ft 11in Neville Austin and the 7ft 1in Ian Whyte handle Nilssen and Larssen.