Basketball: Bullets hit new low as Poole exits

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The Independent Online

Just when the Birmingham Bullets coach Darran Ling believed it could not get any worse, it did. Bottom of the British Basketball League with two wins from 17 games, and saddled with the league's most cantankerous owner in Craig Bown and watched by a dwindling band of disenchanted fans, Ling thought the only way was up.

Just when the Birmingham Bullets coach Darran Ling believed it could not get any worse, it did. Bottom of the British Basketball League with two wins from 17 games, and saddled with the league's most cantankerous owner in Craig Bown and watched by a dwindling band of disenchanted fans, Ling thought the only way was up.

Not yet. His efforts at team rebuilding have ended in farce. This week he dumped the Gambian forward Pierre Jallow for playmaker Marquis Poole, only for the American to board a jet home without playing a game, claiming that he missed his girlfriend.

Ling used up his last import licence registering Poole, whose behaviour he described as "unbelievable and immature", and now faces a week untangling red tape for permission to find a replacement before Monday week's transfer deadline. "I am looking at every possibility from the US, UK or any other country," Ling said. "I am following several leads, I am also open to any other approaches."

Ling took over as coach half-way through last season when Bown off-loaded the eccentric American coach Steve Tucker. Bown replaced Ling with Charley Adams for this season, then brought him back in when Adams quit. Bullets have had seven coaching changes in four seasons.

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