Basketball: Tall order for Giants

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AFTER the two-week break for England's European Championship games, club coaches are treading warily into this weekend's fixtures in the Budweiser League and Uni-ball League Trophy.

Manchester Giants lead the league and, apart from a National Cup quarter- final defeat against the holders, Thames Valley Tigers, are unbeaten in 15 League and Trophy games.

The Giants coach, Nick Nurse, is grateful for the break, but knows his players must immediately pick up the momentum. "The rest helped us, because Makeeba Perry has been able to train for the first time in a month.

"Our big three [Tony Dorsey, John White and Tony Holley] have had a chance to relax after playing heavy minutes over the first part of the season."

The Tigers coach, Paul James, is not so pleased after the enforced break. His team play their first Trophy game tonight against the holders, Sheffield Sharks, who they meet in the Cup semi-finals in two weeks' time.

James said: "I hate having breaks. We're on a bit of a roll at the moment, at least we were, and I just hope we can continue it."