Basketball: Sharks have title in sight

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The Independent Online
MANCHESTER GIANTS lost control of the Budweiser League race at the weekend and now two wins for the Sharks will take the title to Sheffield for the first time since 1995, when their coach Chris Finch was a player.

Manchester's 111-109 double over-time defeat against Sheffield on Friday night was damaging enough, but it was the London Towers' Danny Lewis who all but killed the Giants' dream on Saturday.

Lewis scored the game's last nine points, including the match-winning three-point play, to give London the 66-64 win, which means Manchester need Sheffield to lose to Newcastle Eagles next Saturday or at Chester Jets on Sunday.

If Sheffield win those, they can go to Manchester for their final game on Good Friday in the knowledge that even defeat will not cost them the title.

"When we lost at Greater London Leopards two weeks ago we decided to keep our heads down, ignore everything around us and just set out to win every game," Finch said. "Now we've got a week to concentrate on Newcastle. If we lose, we're back to square one."

But the Sharks suffered a scare on Saturday night when inspirational captain Todd Cauthorn limped out of their 82-70 win at Leicester City Riders in the first quarter with a badly bruised knee. Cauthorn steered Sheffield through the overtime win against Giants, and Finch said: "In over five years in this country that's the best game I've seen, let alone been involved with."

In the United States, Dennis Rodman rejoined the LA Lakers yesterday but was unwilling to say what prompted him to leave the team on 13 March.