19 Oct 2010

Wins for 36ers, Crocs, Hawks and Breakers on opening weekend

9:04 am on 19 October 2010

Perth started their Australian National Basketball League title defence with a loss and the reborn Sydney Kings set a crowd record in their mixed first weekend back in the competition.

The Wildcats, who are widely favoured to win back-to-back titles, lost their opening game 74-69 to the 36ers in Adelaide on Sunday.

Sydney marked their return to the competition with a stunning 84-68 win over Melbourne on Friday, but crashed 83-70 at home to New Zealand Breakers the following night.

The Kings' disappointment was tempered by a bumper crowd of 8533, over 3000 more than had ever witnessed a Kings-Breakers match at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.

The Breakers continued where they left off last season when they won their last six matches but still missed out on the finals.

The New Zealand coach Andrej Lemanis was adamant the Breakers were legitimate title contenders.

Last season's losing grand finalists, Wollongong, started the new campaign with an 83-77 home win over Gold Coast.

Townsville scored a 79-70 home win over North Queensland rival Cairns, though the top score of 21 came from Taipan Alex Loughton.