Basketball: Gordon's late tonic: Towers and Kings keep nerve

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LONDON TOWERS and Guildford Kings survived a mild attack of nerves on Saturday night to take their seeded places in the Carlsberg Championship finals on 1 and 2 May, alongside the First Division champions Worthing Bears and runners-up Thames Valley Tigers, writes Duncan Hooper.

Birmingham Bullets and Derby Bucks, who finished fifth and sixth in the League, forced London and Guildford to decisive third games in their quarter- final series matches.

Lester Hood, who scored 39 points, inspired Derby to a 34-26 first-half lead. They were also 73-70 ahead at a later stage but the Scantlebury brothers, Peter and Richard, scored 23 and 19 points respectively to put London beyond the reach of a late flurry of three-pointers from Hood and steer their side to a

97-93 win.

Trevor Gordon guided Guildford to an 82-75 victory. In a late flurry, the Kings scored 17 points to Birmingham's two with Gordon providing 10 of them.

In the semi-finals on 1 May Guildford play Worthing and London meet Thames Valley, who completed a 2-0 series win over Leicester City Riders.