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England 74
Slovak Republic 62

England grabbed an important win to take them a step closer to the European Championships at the Coventry Skydome on Saturday despite a disappointing turnout.

Less than 1,000 people were there to see the victory over the Slovak Republic in the second of three European Championships Semi final round games being played this week.

Among the crowd were two lucky winners from CWN, who were taken in a limousine to watch the match.

Roger Huggins took the Roy Waudby Trophy for the Most Valuable Player following a great performance that saw him make 20 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.

Ronnie Baker was declared fit to play against the Slovak Republic despite being knocked unconscious in England's 61 - 53 victory over Switzerland on Wednesday night.

Tony Dorsey made his home debut, proving why he was twice MVP in the Basketball League by coming off the bench to make 8 points including two break away dunks.

Some poor shooting from the free throw line saw the Slovaks struggle to keep a hold on the England lead and after one of their top scorers, Praznovsky, fouled out, England took control.

Tough defence from Chris Haslam saw him block two shots and make five defensive rebounds. All the players got on the score sheet although Haslam left it until the last basket of the game to secure his two points.

Coach Laszlo Nemeth was pleased with the performance of his team. He said:

"Defence wins games. The guys worked extremely hard and proved that here tonight. We have the personnel to make things happen.

“Everyone played well and I wonder how good they could be if we had the chance to get together more often. It's not impossible to make it to Turkey.

“I and the players will do everything in our power, but getting to where we want to be with the hurdles we face is extremely difficult."

Looking ahead, Roger Huggins said:

"The guys don't really talk about making it to the finals. We can't look to far ahead. There is some hard work to do. We must focus on the next game against Latvia. We believe in ourselves and our coach."

Top scorers:

England: Roger Huggins 20, Steve Bucknall 19, Andy Betts 10

Slovak Rep: K Wimmer 13, P Praznovsky 12, R Kramer 11
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CWN / Sport / Basketball / England  / 27 Nov 00
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