Basketball: Towers out of race

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The Independent Online
London Towers, the defending champions, lost their grip on the Budweiser League title last night, with an 82-81 defeat in overtime at Manchester Giants which cleared the way for the Leopards, Birmingham Bullets and Sheffield Sharks to contest the crown over the final 10 days of the regular season.

Birmingham, at home to Leopards on Saturday, set up a potential title decider with the London club by beating Newcastle Eagles 84-81 in overtime last night at the Newcastle Arena.

Giants, who went 55-43 up after an astonishing 21-0 run in the third quarter, failed to score for two and a half minutes until Michael Brown hit the target on the buzzer to force overtime at 76-76. London made the first five points of the extra period but failed to score again as Brown's three-pointer and three free throws from Mark Robinson gave Giants victory.

Leicester City Riders boosted their chances of taking the final place in the play-off quarter-finals with a 79-77 home win over the Worthing Bears.