Basketball: Giants land on Pluto: Manchester beat Bullets

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The Independent Online
MANCHESTER GIANTS, the Budweiser League leaders, have beaten Birmingham Bullets for the signature of the former England junior international, Pluto Vourliotis, but now face a race to clear him before Monday's transfer deadline.

The Birmingham coach, Peter Mintoft, had his eyes on the forward, who last played for Manchester in 1989 before joining Georgia Southern University in America and then the Cyprus National League club Keravnos.

Sitting in the Manchester club office yesterday, however, Vourliotis said: 'If the club get clearance from Cyprus, I'll sign for Manchester.' Vourliotis has a letter from

Keravnos, dated 18 January, releasing him from his contract after they failed to reach the play-offs.

Hemel Royals have also been active to beat the deadline, signing the centre Derrick Izilein, who was released by Doncaster Panthers before Christmas and makes his debut away to Guildford Kings tonight. Hemel also hope to acquire the former England international Leo Rogers, cut by Doncaster on Thursday.

The Guildford owner, Barry Dow, said yesterday that his club had completed the formalities to sign the American Doug Arnold, though he may not be eligible to face Hemel. Guildford are already without Martin Henlan, who is in America for personal reasons.

Sunderland Scorpions have signed another player released by Doncaster, the Anglo-Canadian Gord Wood, while London Towers have signed their first American of the season, Troy Bowers.