Towers power through to final

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BASKETBALL London Towers' impressive form rolled into the new year here last night, when a 93-58 victory over Den Helder, of the Netherlands, took them into the final of the 18th annual World Invitation club tournament.

Today's final, for only the second time in the event's history, will be an all-English affair. London Tower's Budweiser League rivals, Thames Valley Tigers, defeated Honved, of Budapest, 90-86 to reach the final for the third time in the last five years.

Steve Bucknall led their scorers with 31 points but it was Tony Holley who scored five of their last seven points and sealed victory against the Hungarians.

Den Helder looked ready for a scrap when they came back to tie the game at 27-27, but capitulated in the second half as the guard, Danny Lewis, and his fellow American, Tony Windless, stirred Towers into a whirlwind of defensive intensity.

Windless continues to be the team's lucky charm. Towers had won seven in a row since signing him in the run-up to Christmas and extended the sequence to nine with last night's win and Saturday's quarter-final victory over Glasgow by 98-38.

Den Helder's challenge under the boards was obliterated by the massive trio of Ian Whyte, at 7 feet tall, Martin Henlan at 6ft 10in and the 6ft 9in Ken Scott.

Whyte, still a raw talent, is developing some potent offensive moves under the tutoring of coach Kevin Cadle. All 11 of Whyte's points came in the second half as he gathered the ball to bludgeon a path to basket.

Scott, blocking shots under his own back board and and rocking his opponents' backboard with a display of powerful dunking, scored 16 of his 20 points in the second period.

By the Towers led 87-48 they had outscored the Dutch 6-21 and offered little respite from long range either. Joel Moore scored four out of four from three-point range, adding a more subtle but equally devastatingly element to the Towers offence.

Leading scorers: London Towers Lewis 21, Scott 20, Moore 14, Windless 14. Den Helder Franke 20.