Basketball: Towers feeling the heat

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TEMPERATURES rose in the Budweiser League with an above average count of disqualifications and technical fouls at the weekend, but Worthing Bears, Manchester Giants and Thames Valley Tigers stayed cool to maintain their lead over the pack.

London Towers, who began the weekend in third place, lost 105-79 at Thames Valley on Friday but then their weekend disintegrated completely with Saturday's 115-97 home defeat against Sunderland Scorpions in which Mark Dunning, the Towers' coach, was disqualified in the third quarter.

Dunning suffered at the hands of his own unruly bench. In the space of one minute their complaints earned three technical fouls, all of which had to be charged against Dunning, and this brought him an automatic disqualification. Sunderland's Russ Saunders scored 38 points.

Ekwo Odaudu, Hemel Royals' Nigerian international, was disqualified in the fifth minute after a confrontation with Worthing Bears' American, Hermon Harried, but the Royals were still only 97-92 behind with 57 seconds to play.

Worthing's player-coach, Alan Cunningham, came on late in the fourth quarter to steady his team to a 103-95 victory. Manchester hammered the all-English Oldham Celtics 124-69.

Results, Sporting Digest, page 31