Basketball: Jones parts company with Giants on eve of big game

Click to follow
The Independent Online
THE Budweiser League leaders Manchester Giants descended into turmoil yesterday when they parted company with their coach, Jeff Jones, just 48 hours before their confrontation with second-placed Worthing Bears, writes Duncan Hooper.

Giants, who are away to Hemel Royals tonight, were already facing this weekend's games without their two leading scorers, Trevor Gordon, who is suspended, and Jo Hillman, back in the States on personal business.

Rick Taylor, Manchester's former general manager who returned this season after five years in America, now adds the role of caretaker-coach to his duties as Giants' managing director and co-owner.

With Jones proving elusive, Taylor floundered in trying to explain why the club had split with the 39-year-old former England international, who has been associated with Manchester for 16 years as player, administrator and coach. But Taylor denied that Gordon was at the heart of the problem. 'The players don't run this club,' Taylor said. 'Trevor isn't the issue. The club and Jeff have decided to move in different directions.'

It is also a mystery that Hillman is being allowed to miss such a vital game, raising the suspicion that his absence may be linked to Jones' departure.