Rowson's 12-point debut, quiet by NBA standards, gave Manchester the extra height and power to handle Leicester's Billy Singleton and James Havrilla.
The animosity between the clubs was barely submerged throughout. Stemming from a pre-season clash which left Singleton with a split lip it resurfaced after seven minutes when Leicester's centre was fouled under Manchester's basket.
Official Howard Cleaton ignored the offence and Singleton sought retribution by body-checking Danny Craven at the other end.
Leicester's Havrilla, who took a backhanded swing at Robert Churchwell, was later involved in another incident, lunging at Craven after Manchester's centre had fouled him.Reuse content