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Bullets' defeat is wheel bad news for Lance; THAMES VALLEY TIGERS 85 PERTEMPS BULLETS 78.

Byline: RICHARD TAYLOR

BULLETS lost their unbeaten record at Bracknell last night - and coach Lance Randall lost his chance of holding club owner Craig Bown to his promise of a brand new Ferrari.

Bown told Randall the car would be his if Bullets won their first five games of the season - and after two victories in the championship and one each in the National Cup and North European Basketball League, the coach was on course to collect.

Randall said on Friday: 'I'm not sure how serious he was, but if Craig gave me a Ferrari I'd sell it next day - I couldn't afford the gas.'

Now he won't get the chance as a game-high 24 points from Brant Bailey was not enough to rein in the Tigers, who fought back with a 13-0 run to close the first half with a 45-42 lead.

Control

Tigers stayed in control, despite a 6-0 run which cut their lead to 79-75. Rob Paternostro scored 18 for Bullets with Ben Walker adding 13.

Watching from the bench was Antonio Garcia, who will be thrown back into the thick of European action at Aston Villa on Tuesday night against Kiev of the Ukraine in the NEBL.

The 6ft 7in Panamanian, who will then line up against Russian club Samara on Wednesday night, was leading rebounder in the NEBL last season and Bullets will use him only for European games at least until mid-November.

Garcia returned to Bullets after an unhappy start to the season in Spain. He said: 'I am happy to be back with the Bullets, I feel part of the family here.'

Garcia was also the leading domestic rebounder in the BBL last season, at 14.7 per game averaging three more boards than his nearest rival.

He is one of four players on the Bullets' roster requiring work permits, but only three can be used in domestic competition. And Randall has given the vote to Bailey, Rashod Johnson and Walker.

After today's trip away to winless Manchester Giants, Randall will refocus on the NEBL games and the first threat from Kiev.

Kiev have already beaten Wednesday's opponents, Samara, by 91-79 in the competition, but lost their second game against the Latvians of Ventspils by 104-89.

First though, Randall must concentrate on today's trip to Manchester, and he is determined to avoid the fate of London Towers.

Towers' 91-58 defeat against the Slovenians of Ljubljana on Thursday capped a run of four straight defeats which also saw them eliminated from the National Cup by Edinburgh Rocks, Bullets' opponents in the quarter-finals.

CAPTION(S):

BACK IN ACTION... Antonio Garcia
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Title Annotation:Basketball
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Oct 21, 2001
Words:435
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