Leopards tamed by Towers

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The Independent Online
Basketball

Just 24 hours after clinching a place in the last 32 of the European Cup, London Towers overcame the home advantage of their local rivals, the Leopards, by losing only 93-92 in the first leg of their Classic Cola National Cup semi-final, writes Richard Taylor.

Paul Deppisch scored all 21 of his points from three-pointers, eclipsing the long-range shooting of Leopards' American pair John White, who hit five from long range, and Eric Burks, who scored three.

It was a three-pointer from White, who top-scored with 34 points, which gave the Leopards a 93-89 lead with 90 seconds remaining at the London Arena. But Towers' England international Karl Brown scored three out of four free throws to cut their lead to a single point for the return leg at Wembley, missing the chance to tie the scores with his final effort.

Sheffield Sharks, who lost to Towers in last season's final, made better use of home advantage by beating Newcastle Eagles 91-80 in their first leg.

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