Newcomers the Tasmania JackJumpers have fallen short in their debut at the NBL Blitz pre-season tournament, suffering an 89-79 defeat to the Brisbane Bullets.
Boomers star Nathan Sobey contributed 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists for the Bullets as they sounded an early warning to the competition in new coach James Duncan’s first game in charge.
Import Robert Franks caught the eye with 16 points on 4-of-5 shooting from long range as Brisbane went at 59 per cent from the field, taking control during the third period after leading by just one point at half-time.
JackJumpers coach Scott Roth saw good signs from US imports Josh Adams (18 points) and Josh Magette (12), who combined well with Canadian forward MiKyle McIntosh (16).
The league’s newest team drew a sold-out crowd of almost 5000 fans for the first game of Sunday’s double-header at MyState Bank Arena in Hobart.
In the second game, Adelaide beat Cairns 91-87 in overtime.
The Taipans forced an extra period when Stephen Zimmerman grabbed an offensive rebound and tied the scores in the dying seconds.
But 36ers veteran Daniel Johnson scored seven of his game-high 33 points in overtime to lead his side to victory, with new recruit Cam Bairstow adding 11 points and eight rebounds.
Johnson also gathered eight rebounds for an understrength Adelaide unit that was missing Isaac Humphries, Next Star Mojave King and imports Dusty Hannahs and Todd Withers.
American import Zimmerman and Majok Deng scored 18 points each for Cairns.
On Saturday, one-time NBA champion Matthew Dellavedova marked his first NBL appearance with a typically disruptive display in Melbourne United’s 90-84 win over the New Zealand Breakers.
But the Boomers star was upstaged by teammate Jo Lual-Acuil, who posted 37 points and 11 rebounds in an outstanding performance, while United captain Chris Goulding drained four triples in his tally of 15 points.
South East Melbourne leader Mitch Creek sat out the second half with an ankle injury as the Phoenix held off the Sydney Kings in an 81-75 win.
Creek posted 17 first-half points against the undermanned Kings, who got 15 points out of US import Jarell Martin.
Chinese drawcard Zhou Qi had 10 points and eight rebounds on his Phoenix debut and threw down some big slam dunks.
NBL Blitz action continues on Monday night with a Phoenix-Illawarra Hawks and Kings-United double-header in Melbourne.