Sharks devour Leopards

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London Leopards, the team that Bob Donewald built, are still misfiring for their new coach Chris Pullem and last season's losing finalists fell in the first round of the ntl National Cup 96-88 at home to Sheffield Sharks on Saturday.

Bob Donewald re-signed most of last season's team, plus the former England internationals Martin Henlan and Carl Miller, but left for an assistant's job with Charlotte Hornets of the NBA in the summer and was replaced by Pullem. But three straight championship defeats were followed by the early Cup exit after Sharks took control in the third quarter with 9-2 and 6-2 runs. Lynard Stewart led unbeaten Sheffield's scoring with 27 points, ahead of 22 from England's Richard Windle. Mo Robinson top-scored for Leopards with 22.

Sharks go into the quarter-final draw with midweek winners Birmingham Bullets and holders Leicester Riders, plus Milton Keynes Lions, who beat Derby Storm 90-70 on Saturday.