Basketball: Thomas puts the bite into Bears

The Leopards suffered a Cup hangover on Saturday night, beaten 101-87 on the South Coast to give Worthing Bears their best Budweiser League result of the season.

Less than a week after winning the club's first-ever trophy in the National Cup Final, London-based Leopards felt the force of Worthing's Anthony Thomas, who scored 30 points before being carried from the court in the last minute with damaged ligaments.

Sheffield Sharks, the Leopards' Cup final victims, bounced back with an 89-76 win at Derby Storm, where they led 20-2 after six minutes to keep the pressure on the leaders Chester Jets and London Towers.

London won 116-105 at the bottom-club Hemel and Watford on Saturday, where the Royals led for most of the first quarter before being overwhelmed 35-22 in the third.

Dwayne Morton, the former Golden State Warrior, led the Newcastle Eagles scorers with 25 points on his debut, but could not save them from a 91- 89 defeat at Leicester City Riders, their fifth loss in a row.

Nate Reinking, with two three-pointers, and eight points from Leon McGee, were the inspiration behind a 16-4 Riders run for a 59-49 lead. Eagles then put together a 12-5 surge which brought them back to trail 86-83 in the final minute before McGee's free throw made the game safe at 91- 87.