Basketball: Towers toppled by Newcastle hot-shot

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The Independent Online
The Budweiser League's hottest winning streak dampened the London Towers' title challenge at Wembley last night, where Newcastle Eagles beat them 83-81 in overtime.

Both teams went into the game on six consecutive league wins, but whereas three of London's victories in that run had been in overtime last night they failed to last the course.

Greater London Leopards, the defending champions, capitalised with a 122-113 win at Leicester on Saturday and by beating Thames Valley Tigers 94-83 last night to take their own winning streak to six and close within four points of Towers. Leoepards recovered after conceding the game's first 15 points last night.

At Wembley, with the scores tied on 75 points, Karl Brown, once, and James Hamilton, twice, missed free throws inside the final 90 seconds.

Hamilton then scored two frees, but when Keith Robinson fouled Rob Phelps with two seconds to play Newcastle's American scored both to force overtime at 77-77.

After Mark Boyd gave Eagles an 82-81 lead another Towers error, when Neville Austin lost possession, led to a desperate foul and another free throw from Phelps to seal victory.

The Department for Education and Employment have refused a work permit to allow England coach Laszlo Nemeth to take over at Derby Storm. Jeff Jones will continue as coach.