Basketball: Lift from Thomas for Jets

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KEVIN CADLE, the Guildford Kings coach, will have a close look tonight at Tyrone Thomas, the player he recommended to Carlsberg League rivals Cheshire, who has revitalised the Jets this season, writes Duncan Hooper.

When the Jets coach, Mike Burton, saw his team lose their first 12 First Division games he asked Cadle for advice on who to recruit from America. Cadle suggested Thomas. Burton teamed the 6ft 5in Thomas with the 6ft 9in Doug Herring and the Jets began a sequence of five wins in seven games.

Burton, who takes Cheshire to Guildford's new 2,000-seat Spectrum Arena for tonight's game, said: 'I told Tyrone that by the end of the season he could be the best player in the league, but he'd certainly be the worst paid.'

In last weekend's 102-82 win over Oldham Celtics Thomas produced statistics of almost NBA proportions with 52 points at 68 per cent, seven from 10 free-throws, and 16 rebounds.

Guildford hope their season turned a corner with Thursday night's 83-81 National Cup semi-final first leg win over Thames Valley Tigers. In the other semi-final, Cleave Lewis scored nine seconds from time to give Worthing Bears a 100-99 win at Leicester. The second legs are on Wednesday.