Basketball: Milan coach refuses to make excuses

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The Independent Online
At least the Stefanel coach, Franco Marcelletti, was in no danger of being pelted with tomatoes when he returned with his team to Milan airport yesterday. But the former European champions' 65-56 defeat against London Towers at Wembley on Tuesday night still took some explaining to fans, media and the club's owners.

Marcelletti offered no excuses after the most stunning result so far in European Cup Group E. He said: "We were soft on defence, soft on offence. We made mistakes, they punished us. They pursued us all game. If you score only 56 points you won't beat anyone."

Stefanel Milan have won eight European titles, including three Super Leagues, but Marcelletti denied his players took victory for granted.

Even more so now. Towers' coach, Kevin Cadle, rightly identified his American pair Danny Lewis and James Hamilton as the dominant influences. Cadle said: "They played the way Americans in Europe are supposed to play. Danny ran the game and pushed at them every second he was on the floor."

Yet Cadle had to bench Lewis within minutes of the start after the player earned a technical foul for a comment to the referee then showed his frustration by shoving an opponent.

Towers are away to Beobank Belgrade next Tuesday.