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Experience the key to Bullets' revivial

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When you're building a basketball team from the ground up, it doesn't hurt to get a few tips from someone who won a few NBA championships with Michael Jordan.

That's why Australian Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis didn't mind turning to long-time mate and Boomers assistant coach Luc Longley when Lemanis got the nod to coach the Brisbane Bullets in the club's return to the NBL after an eight-year absence.

"It's an old club but a brand new club, and it was interesting because I was talking to Luc Longley when I got the job and one of the bits of advice he gave me was not to fall into the trap of recruiting a bunch of young guys," Lemanis said after Brisbane's 77-73 defeat of the Sydney Kings on Saturday night.

"You need some veteran heads who understand to deal with the highs and lows of a season, and the highs and lows of a game itself."

The Lemanis blueprint for success with expansion basketball teams is on the money judging by the Bullets' first-round triumphs over reigning champions Perth and Sydney.

Bullets management also did well to lure Lemanis back to the NBL after he steered the New Zealand Breakers to three straight titles.

Brisbane won the championship in 2007 before succumbing to financial pressure and folding 12 months later.

"I've been amazed - thrilled - by the way the Brisbane community has embraced the Bullets," Lemanis said.

"The support up there is unbelievable. There's a real thirst for it. The passion and want for us to do well and succeed is amazing. It's almost overwhelming."

The Kings were playing their first game in a new venue and were desperate to start the season strongly after finishing with the wooden spoon last season.

Not only did the club's decision-makers sign Australian basketball icon Andrew Gaze as coach, they recruited five key players in the off-season and have been ranked by bookmakers as a top-four side.

Gaze said his side had its chances to beat the Bullets but was heartened by certain parts of the the Kings' overall performance and kept the loss in perspective.

"A few times there it could've got away from us and down the stretch we missed some shots we normally expect to make," Gaze said.

"But what we can take from that is that we played against a really good team that's extremely well coached and executes really well."

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