Basketball: Kingston come back in disguise

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THE NAME has changed but the quest is the same. Ten days before the start of the new Carlsberg League season the Guildford Kings, who last season won five titles as Kingston, are in Estonia to play Kalev Talinn tonight in their first-round, first-leg tie of the European Championship for men's clubs, writes Duncan Hooper.

The Kings' move from Tolworth to the new Spectrum Arena, which has 2,000 seats and the capacity to double that, was initially blocked by their neighbours, Thames Valley Tigers. But opposition from other clubs crumbled once they were convinced the Kings were serious about withdrawing from the Premier League unless the proposed move was cleared. However, next Thursday's second leg against Talinn will be at Crystal Palace as the Spectrum is not due for completion until next month.

The quest for sponsorship also remains. Last season's sponsors, Roland, did not take up the option of a second year with the club. Guildford's owner, Barry Dow, hopes to recoup most of that with around pounds 60,000 from Texaco, but is looking for another pounds 140,000 deal to put a name on the players' vests.

On court, coach Kevin Cadle has added height by re-signing the 6ft 9in Trevor Gordon, who played in Belgium last season, and the 6ft 7in American, Tyrone Shoulders. Cadle has intensified the back-court aggression by taking the England and Great Britain guard Karl Brown from Leicester and improved the shooting potential with a second American, Derek Thompkins, and the former Thames Valley guard, Julio Politi.