Vourliotis out in the cold

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The Independent Online

Within a week of playing in the European Championships, England's Pluto Vourliotis is back on the market after being released by a Budweiser League club for the second time in a month, writes Duncan Hooper.

Leicester City Riders, lacking height and still with an American slot to fill after releasing the injured Dave Willard, could move quickly for the 6ft 8in Vourliotis after their 82-65 League defeat at Manchester Giants on Saturday.

Vourliotis, thrust into action in England's defeat against Estonia last week, was released by the league champions, Sheffield Sharks, at the start of the season when they signed 6ft 10in Jason Crump. Birmingham Bullets snapped up Vourliotis, but he was squeezed out again when they signed the 6ft 9in England international Trevor Gordon.

Gordon, playing his first game in six weeks, scored 18 points on his Bullets debut in the 110-66 demolition of Doncaster Panthers at the weekend.

The outstanding individual performance came from Chris Fite, who scored 45 points for London Leopards, including five three-pointers, in their 93-91 overtime victory against Derby Storm on Friday.