Basketball: Kings may still lay down arms: League fingers crossed after partial wage payments

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THE Basketball League Limited hopes to have been spared the embarrassment of a players' strike tonight after the Guildford Kings' owner, Barry Dow, yesterday paid some of the money owing to his players, writes Duncan Hooper.

Guildford's players, despite their highly motivated performance in losing 81-72 to Real Madrid on Thursday night, remained equally committed to boycotting tonight's Budweiser League game away to Worthing Bears unless they received a significant proportion of the four months' salary they are owed.

However, Dow said yesterday that money due from the marketing company Dorna had filtered through the banking system and was in the club's account. 'I'm leaving cheques for the players to collect at the club office. We cannot pay everything they are owed, a month's pay or so remains outstanding. This has been hard on the players, it's hard on all of us,' he said.

Dow claimed the first he knew of the boycott was when he read Thursday's papers prior to the European Clubs' Championship game against Madrid. 'Trying to get funds and sponsorship is a never-ending process and I told them that a players' strike would make it that much harder to sell the vehicle,' he said.