Basketball: Kings hit a low point: Guildford's European humiliation

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The Independent Online
TWO hours before his team went out to face Bayer Leverkusen in the European Clubs championship in Germany on Thursday night, the Guildford Kings coach, Kevin Cadle, took a phone call in his hotel from his most experienced player, Alton Byrd. 'Sorry coach, I won't be there. I've forgotten my passport,' was Byrd's message from Heathrow's Terminal Two.

Cadle's response, surprisingly, is printable. 'Did I want to believe it? No. Could I believe it? Yes. It just summed up the season we're having.'

Guildford were already without their tallest player, the 6ft 10in Martin Henlan, who had an ankle operation on Thursday and may miss another six weeks of the season. Guildford lost by the horrific margin of 105-57, their worst defeat in Europe leaving them without a win from four rounds of the semi-final pool.

Guildford now face a demanding weekend in the Budweiser League, away to London Towers tonight and at home to title favourites Thames Valley Tigers tomorrow.

Even so, Cadle is not sorry to be back. After the humiliation against Leverkusen a journalist asked why he had not used his time-outs in the second half. Cadle told him: 'I didn't want to hold things up - I just wanted to get out of the place.'