Basketball: Sharks hold on to reach final

Greater London Leopards 90 Sheffield Sharks 82 Sheffield win 185- 175 on aggregate
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The Independent Online
Greater London Leopards 90 Sheffield Sharks 82 Sheffield win 185-175 on aggregate

THE Leopards failed to outrun Sharks at London Arena last night where an 18-point advantage from the first leg was enough to see Sheffield through to next month's League Trophy final at Birmingham's NEC.

Only once, at 73-55, did the Budweiser League's most spectacular offensive unit draw level, just before the end of the third quarter. Sharks opened the fourth with a 6-0 run, but were pulled back again to lead by just one on aggregate. Ryan Cuff sparked a 9-0 spurt with a three-pointer before successive baskets from Robert Youngblood, John White and Eric Burks put Leopards 85-68 in the lead.

Then in three successive plays Sheffield's Terrell Myers scored two three- pointers either side of Wilbur Johnson's block on Burks for the Sharks to pull back to 85-74 down. White's three- pointer for Leopards was soon countered by six Sheffield points, four of them from John Amaechi, as the Sharks protected their aggregate lead.

In tonight's second semi, the holders London Towers defend an 18-point lead at Newcastle.