Basketball: Towers rock on with celebratory win: Ayinla weighs in with 19 points in first-half spree while Guildford tumble

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The Independent Online
LONDON TOWERS may not win any of the titles this season, but half-time entertainment at the Michael Sobell Centre is sure to improve. Marshall Arts, the pop concert promoters, became owners of the Budweiser League club on Friday and the players celebrated with a 97-87 win at Derby Bucks on Saturday, writes Duncan Hooper.

If Towers' coach, Mark Dunning, is now allowed to invest in American imports then London, currently fifth, will challenge ailing Guildford Kings for fourth place and home advantage in the play-offs.

At Derby, Solomon Ayinla scored 19 of his 29 points in the first half, while Dunning relied on this outstanding acquisition from Brixton and his three other experienced internationals, Joel Moore, Richard Scantlebury and Andrew Bailey, to keep the visitors ahead throughout. London were sent to the free-throw line 25 times and profited with 22 points.

Guildford, again without Martin Henlan, their injured 6ft 10in centre, were knocked out of the League Trophy 95- 88 by Thames Valley Tigers in a group game. Tony Holley, the revitalised American, included five three-pointers in his total of 38 for Tigers.

BUDWEISER LEAGUE: Sunderland 71 (Saunders 34), Doncaster 99 (Jones 25); Oldham 71 (Saipe 24), Worthing 98 (Harried 29); Derby 87 (Mandt 21), London 97 (Ayinla 29).

LEAGUE TROPHY: Thames Valley Tigers 95 (Holley 38), Guildford 88 (Duncan 28).

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