Nemeth's faith undimmed

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The Independent Online
Basketball

England's beleaguered coach, Laszlo Nemeth, will have to beef up his flagging challenge in the European Championships by the time the former champions, Germany, line up against them in their third semi-final group game at Sheffield's Ponds Forge on 12 November, writes Duncan Hooper.

Nemeth insists: "I have faith in my team and their abilities," but after defeats against Latvia and Estonia and with the Germans and Russians still to come, England already look wooden spoon candidates with Portugal in the two-year, 10-game group.

Only London Towers' Steve Bucknall, who scored 31 points in the 91-89 defeat against Estonia on Wednesday, looks international class. And unless the injured 6ft 10in Spencer Dunkley returns from the Spanish club Badalona, where he is being treated for a knee injury, England will be overpowered by Germany.

Trevor Gordon, who played for England in the qualification tournament in May but dropped out of contention while in dispute with Manchester, returned to Budweiser League action with his new club Birmingham Bullets. Also back on the scene was the 6ft 8in Tony King, who lined up for Derby Storm. King, who already has 14 caps, is back in England after completing his university career in Michigan.

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