Basketball: Dunning in charge following rookie's dismissal

CHARLES LUKE-BANNERMAN of the Brighton Bears yesterday became the third Budweiser League coach to be dismissed this season, when a run of four defeats culminating in a 93-58 collapse at Chester Jets on Sunday proved too much for the club's directors.

The rookie head coach Luke-Bannerman has been replaced by his far more experienced assistant, Mark Dunning, who has previously coached at London Towers, Hemel Royals and Thames Valley Tigers.

The Bears' director Christian Hamilton said: We have been very disappointed with the last few results and felt that a change was necessary. We have a talented set of players and we need a head coach who can drive that talent beyond all limits in every game."

The Bears hope Dunning can turn their fortunes around as spectacularly as Billy Mims at Leicester, who led the Riders to their first two victories of the season over Budwesier clubs after replacing Tim Darling two weeks ago.

Leicester face a sterner test of their revival durability tomorrow night when Manchester Giants, the National Cup finalists, visit the Granby Halls in the League.

Dunning's experience and motivational powers will be similarly tested as he tries to lift the Bears into play-off contention.

Sheffield Sharks, the Cup finalists, extended their unbeaten run to 18 games by scoring 25 of the last 30 points to win 93-89 at Chester on Tuesday, while London Towers finished bottom of their European Saporta Cup group after losing 109-101 to Aalst in Belgium despite 47 points from Danny Lewis.