Basketball: Brighton close in on title after Sharks slip

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The Independent Online

Brighton Bears could be crowned British Basketball League champions tomorrow night if they beat Scottish Rocks and Chester Jets this weekend and second-placed Sheffield Sharks lose at home to London Towers, writes Richard Taylor. But their coach, Nick Nurse, is putting the celebrations on hold. "We were one possession away from losing both our games last weekend," he said.

Brighton Bears could be crowned British Basketball League champions tomorrow night if they beat Scottish Rocks and Chester Jets this weekend and second-placed Sheffield Sharks lose at home to London Towers, writes Richard Taylor. But their coach, Nick Nurse, is putting the celebrations on hold. "We were one possession away from losing both our games last weekend," he said.

But the Sharks coach, Peter Scantlebury, has given up the ghost after their overtime defeat by Brighton last weekend.

Two months ago the Sharks were clear favourites to defend their title, but Scantlebury said: "It's going to take something tragic for Brighton to allow us to win it now. We need a miracle, so we may as well use these last six games to give us a platform for going into the play-offs." Brighton's celebrations seem likely to be postponed until their home game next Saturday against Leicester Riders.

Leicester, who won the double three years ago, lost their chance of qualifying for the play-offs in Wednesday night's 92-85 defeat by Thames Valley Tigers.

Their chairman, Professor Jim Saker, declared the club's business unsustainable since they relocated to Loughborough after their Granby Halls venue was demolished. Coach Karl Brown said: "The club needs to get back to Leicester if it is going to survive. We need to find somewhere and quickly."

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