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Imports fire Bullets to NBL return victory

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On a night that marked a new chapter in Brisbane's basketball history, it was the performance of the Bullets' American imports that spurred the club to a victorious return to the NBL.

Jermaine Beal and Torrey Craig were the catalysts for the home side's third-quarter fightback as they came from 12 points behind shortly to win their opening match 72-65 over the Perth Wildcats in Brisbane on Thursday night.

The Bullets went on a 19-0 run during their stirring comeback and maintained a seven-point lead heading into the final quarter and up until the final siren.

Playing against his former club, Beal finished the contest with 14 points including four three-pointers after only scoring a solitary basket in the opening half.

Beal's accuracy from beyond the arc sparked the Bullets into life in the third stanza with fellow import and former Cairns Taipan Craig (16 points and seven rebounds) also exerting his influence over proceedings.

Ex Boomer Adam Gibson also chimed in with 11 points as the Bullets shared scoring responsibilities.

Bullets and Australian national team coach Andrej Lemanis sais he was pleased with the team contribution of his American imports.

"I love the fact that they as part of the team," Lemanis said.

"I don't put any credence on how many points they score all I can about is whether we're winning or losing.

"They're both experienced in the league and that was one of the conscious decisions we made to try and reduce the amount of variables with our club coming back in.

"To get two imports that understand the league and know what it's about is great for us."

For the Wildcats, Iowa State product Jameel McKay led the way for the visitors with 18 points, seven rebounds and three blocks in a 23-minute display.

Perth coach Trevor Gleeson reserved praise for McKay and former Australian forward Jesse Wagstaff, but didn't hide his displeasure with the rest of his troops after they squandered their half-time advantage.

"Jameel's work rate was fantastic for the whole game - him and Jesse were easily our best players and the rest were pretty disappointing," Gleeson said.

"The first three minutes of the third quarter Brisbane started hitting their shots and we didn't respond at all.

"They had their tails up and we thought we had enough of a buffer but our work ethic didn't match the first half."

Both sides will complete their Round one fixtures on Saturday with the Bullets travelling to Sydney to take on the Andrew Gaze-coached Kings, while the Wildcats host the Cairns Taipans.

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