Basketball: Derby buck losing trend to lift hopes

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The Independent Online
AFTER nine successive defeats, the prospect of pay cuts spurred the Derby Bucks to two victories in four days and resurrected their hopes of qualifying for the play- off quarter-finals at the end of the Carlsberg League First Division campaign, writes Duncan Hooper.

A recent 40-point drubbing from Leicester City Riders earned Derby's players the warning that they would be short-changed until they climbed away from the three relegation places.

The midweek win over Manchester Giants, followed by a 102-92 victory at Birmingham Bullets on Saturday, leaves the Bucks one place clear of the relegation places in ninth position, but a comfortable six points ahead of Cheshire Jets.

The leaders, Thames Valley Tigers, opened a two-point lead with a 97-74 victory at Oldham on Saturday and by beating London 86-75 last night. Worthing Bears stayed second with a 90-80 win over third-placed London on Saturday.

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