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Basketball: Jets' chance to rise

A SPECTACULAR bench clearance by players from Thames Valley Tigers and Leicester City Riders has given Cheshire Jets a chance to continue their climb in the First Division of the Carlsberg National League. The English Basket Ball Association has ordered Leicester to replay their league game against the Jets, which they originally won 100-78 on 3 January, and without the prolific John Tresvant, writes Duncan Hooper.

When Leicester's Dylan Bogg squared up to Thames Valley's Ade Orelaja in the game on 18 December, players from both benches rushed on to court to join in. Bogg and his team-mates, Chris Hellyer, Roger Joseph, Tresvant and fellow American Gene Waldron, were all expelled with Orelaja and fellow Tiger Kevin St Kitts. Tresvant's expulsion took him over the 15-point mark for an immediate two-game ban but he played the following day against Guildford, and then against Cheshire.

Riders, ninth and just outside the quarter-final play-off places, will not relish facing rejuvenated Cheshire without him. Since signing Americans Tyrone Thomas and Doug Herring, Cheshire have climbed from the bottom to 11th with four wins and came close to eliminating the League leaders and NatWest Trophy winners, Thames Valley, in the quarter- finals of the National Cup.

Guildford move into their new home at the 3,000-seat Spectrum Arena tomorrow to play Manchester Giants after travelling to Derby tonight. Thames Valley, at home to Hemel Hempstead, and second- placed Worthing Bears, visiting Manchester tonight, are unlikely to falter, but London have a testing home game against Birmingham.