Basketball: Giants in trouble over signing of Baker

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The largest arena in the country, the biggest crowds in the Budweiser League and possibly the fattest wage bill are adding up to zero for Manchester Giants. Now they are also in trouble with the league following Friday's signing of the England international, Ronnie Baker.

More than 8,000 fans at Manchester's Nynex Arena watched Saturday's 76-71 defeat against London Towers, one week after more than 10,000 saw the opening day surrender against the unranked Thames Valley Tigers.

Point guard Baker played with the league champions, Greater London Lepoards, last season, but had been hoping for a lucrative move to the continent.

The asking price from his agent is believed to be around pounds 30,000 net in earnings, which would be hard to fit under the pounds 140,000 league salary cap at Manchester.

In addition to their quota of Americans, the Giants brought another England international, Delme Herriman, back from Italy and the league's chief executive, Mike Smith, has warned the club he will investigate.

Baker made little impact on Saturday night and was one of four Giants to foul out. London's American, Danny Lewis, took control with 11 consecutive points over four minutes to open a 76-65 lead on the way to victory. Lewis totalled 27 points.

Newcastle Eagles recovered from Friday's 94-84 home defeat by Leicester City Riders and were led to their first win of the season by 34 points from the American Rob Phelps in the 89-82 win at Tigers on Saturday.

- Richard Taylor