Basketball: Towers facing struggle to qualify

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One extra second would undoubtedly have given London Towers victory over Verona in their European Cup group game at Wembley Arena on Wednesday night, but instead their 71-64 overtime defeat piles on the pressure for their final four qualifying games.

When Karl Brown saw the game clock clicking down to the final second, he knew there was insufficient time to complete his drive to the basket, and pulled up for a 15-foot jump shot which missed.

The scores stayed tied on 55-55, allowing the Italian club's American Randolph Keys and Danish international Joachim Jerichow to open a match- winning 69-59 lead in overtime as London lost their heads in a barrage of hasty three-point attempts and rash fouls.

Their coach, Kevin Cadle, said: "We threw up three or four three-pointers even when we were only a couple of baskets down. We still had time to carry on driving to their basket and scoring or drawing fouls."

Towers are in the final qualifying place, fourth, and must win their two final home games against the clubs below them, Vita Tbilisi, of Georgia, and Podgorica, of Yugoslavia. Victory in either of their away games in Turkey or Hungary would be a bonus.