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Basketball: Tigers have another tilt in Europe

THAMES Valley Tigers, undaunted by their thrashing from the Italian champions, Buckler Bologna, at Bracknell on Thursday night, have taken up their option of more European competition by switching from the Clubs' Championship to the European Cup, writes Duncan Hooper.

Tigers' 82-62 home defeat in the first leg of the second- round tie against Bologna leaves no hope of recovery against the powerful Italians, who train twice a day and whose leading player, the Yugoslav Predrag Danilovic, earns dollars 2m ( pounds 1.3m) a season.

After next week's second leg, which could be even more intimidating if Bologna recall their injured 6ft 11in international centre, Gus Binelli, Tigers go into the third-round draw of the European Cup.

Tigers, 48-21 down at half- time, staged a mini second- half recovery when Danilovic spent seven minutes resting on the bench. Thames Valley's 6ft 11in Neville Austin, who never punched his weight in the first half, scored 12 second-half points and finally gave the willing but undersized American, Tony Holley, some support under Bologna's basket.