Basketball: Kings of nearly all they survey: Inspired in Europe, Guildford have bounced back to life

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The Independent Online
GUILDFORD KINGS ensured a higher profile for the sport this season with Thursday night's 151-149 aggregate victory over Hapoel Galil Elyon despite losing 71-65 in Israel, in the second leg of their second round tie in the European Clubs Championships, writes Duncan Hooper.

Alton Byrd's three-point play three seconds from time denied Galil a one-point aggregate win and guaranteed Guildford's place in tomorrow's draw in Munich for the two semi-final pools of eight. Their success should earn in excess of pounds 100,000 in television and marketing revenue and increases the likelihood of sponsorship for the club.

Kevin Cadle's decision to build a team to compete with Europe's best, despite the handicap of a domestic salary cap, has been vindicated. But with the club's immediate future hanging on the result there was no disguising the coach's relief after the game. 'Those guys were playing for our pay cheques out there,' he said. 'They were under serious pressure.

'This should give English basketball a lift for the rest of the season,' added Cadle, just as it did in 1990 when his Kingston team also reached the final pool.