Basketball: Kings aim to extend their reign

THE Guildford Kings coach, Kevin Cadle, enjoys the luxury of having his entire squad available for the European Clubs Championship second round, first leg tie at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre against Opel Limoges, of France, tonight.

Forced to omit two of his highest earners from each domestic game because of salary restrictions, Cadle hopes that his line-up can gel to take the team into the final pool and earn the pounds 250,000 from television and satellite rights that goes with a place in the last 16.

'It's a great way to get ready for Limoges,' said Cadle, who guided the club to all four domestic titles last season. 'The only time we've had the whole team out on the floor was in the first round.' Then, Guildford scraped past Kalev Tallinn 154-153 on aggregate after a 79-73 second-leg win at Palace.

Cadle is most concerned over about the new American guard Derek Thompkins, who missed the first league game of the season because of injury and then sat out Saturday's 89-61 First Division win at Cheshire Jets with the Kings' other American, Tyrone Shoulders.

At least Limoges have also suffered some disruption. Their international guard Frederic Forte returned from injury for Sunday's 73- 53 league win against Challons, but they were still without the Slovenian, Jurij Zdovc.

Magic Johnson, who retired from the Los Angeles Lakers last season after learning that he is HIV positive, announced yesterday that he will return to the team on a limited schedule of 50 to 60 games in the coming season.