Hemel Storm began defending their 2011 Patrons Cup title with an 81-64 win over London Westside on Saturday in the first game of a double-header weekend.
Despite being without key starters Drew Spinks and Rich Wellings due to injury, Storm managed to hold off a physically bigger Westside team after a slow first quarter.
With the teams level at 16 at the end of one quarter, Storm went onto win the final three periods as their guard Andy Harper
(186-G-81, college: Albertson
) led all scorers with 27 points, followed by Bode Bode Adeluola
with 23. Ausridas Petraitas led Westside with 18 points.
Hemel coach Dave Titmuss said: 'Westside has a strong European-based roster and play a style that is prevalent there. They will be a handful for anyone this season and I expect to see them figure in the Division's top three. I thought we showed mental toughness throughout the game and made some big defensive plays.'
On Sunday, Harper and Bode Adeluola
teamed up again combining for 52 points against Mansfield Giants in a convincing 101-73 win.
Mansfield were successful in the early stages of the game utilizing their zone defence and dribble-driving attacks against a Hemel club slightly weary from the previous day's encounter, but coach Titmuss made the necessary adjustments in the second quarter and Storm took control.
'We were sluggish in the second quarter and looked like we were suffering a little from the previous day's exertions,' said Titmuss. 'We gave up some soft baskets but will be better prepared when we meet them in the league.'
had 28 and Harper 24 for Hemel while Mansfield were led by Gary Collins' 20 point effort.
Team Solent defeated Team Northumbria 77-72 at St Mary's Sports Centre on Saturday to open their Patrons Cup pool games with a win.
Ryan Payne led Solent with 14 followed by Anthony Rutter
and James Chubb scoring 11 apiece. Jamie Glen, Siman Stewart and Ross Wilson
(93) all scored 14 for Team Northumbria in the losing effort.
Visitors Northumbria started the stronger team, leading at the end of one quarter 26-21, but Team Solent roared back with a 28-19 second period to lead by four (49-45) at the break.
A nip and tuck affair for the game's remainder saw Solent close it out as winners.
Scoring 38 points in the final quarter was impressive for London United-Harefield Academy on Sunday, but as they trailed 80-32 heading into the fourth, they left themselves too much to do and went down 102-80 to Birmingham Mets.
Franck Kouagniakandoum led Birmingham with 20 points, matched by United's youngster Elvisi Dusha, as the Mets stay perfect in the competition and the Londoners remain winless.
Glamorgan Gladiators got their EBL season off the mark well with an 81-74 win over Eastside Eagles on Saturday led by a dominant performance by their new American signing Greg Hernandez.
Hernandez had 32 points and a pile of rebounds in his debut leaving any worries about the departure of last season's Division 3 MVP Joseph Womack dwindling.
Eastside were led by former London Leopard guard Carl Latham-Henry with 19 and Williamz Omope
(196-F-82, college: Marshalltown CC
), who scored 17.
Glamorgan's 65-52 lead heading into the fourth was reduced by a 22-16 Eagles run, but it was not enough and the Welsh club kept Eastside without a victory in the Patrons Cup.