Basketball: Eagles and Rocks slip up

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The joint leaders, Newcastle Eagles and Scottish Rocks, each missed the chance to take the lead in the British Basketball League title race last night when they slumped to unexpected defeats.

When the Eagles tipped off at Chester Jets they already knew that the Rocks had lost 80-79 earlier at Guildford Heat. But the Eagles failed to take advantage, crashing to one of their worst defeats of the season by 93-76.

The results leave the Rocks and Eagles level on 27 wins each, but the Tyneside club have played one game less and could take control of the race this week when they face third-placed Sheffield Sharks on Thursday and the Rocks on Saturday.

Bottom-of-the-table Birmingham Bullets may need a miracle to qualify for the play-offs, but after just edging out fifth-placed Guildford 103-101 on Saturday for their third win in a row are having a say on the quarter-final line-up.

Guildford must overhaul fourth-placed London Towers to earn home advantage in the last eight, but Towers moved four points clear with an 84-81 win over Leicester Riders.