London United made a stunning British Basketball League debut on Saturday night, outscoring Leicester 29-6 in the final quarter to defeat the Riders 81-79 at their De Montfort University venue.
But there was disappointment for Worcester Wolves, beaten 82-77 at home by Plymouth Raiders in their BBL debut after joining London United in stepping up from the English Basketball League during the summer.
The Riders, who have not won their opening BBL fixture since 1995, dominated the first three quarters and led 73-52 at the end of the third after Andrew Alleyne and Yorick Williams combined for an 11-0 run.
Phillip Perre inspired London with 15 fourth quarter points as Tony Garbelotto's team forced 14 turnovers. The killer blow came when Junior Williams stole possession from Terrence McGee and, following a London time-out, Perre rebounded his own missed shot to score the winning basket three second from time. Perre led London's scorers with 30 points ahead of 20 from Bryant Feggins. Alleyne scored 25 points with Williams adding 15 and Rob Paternostro hit 11 on his return to the BBL two years after leaving Birmingham Bullets. Worcester fought back from 44-31 down to lead at 77-76 against Plymouth after a three-pointer from the Lithuanian Valdas Urbanaviius, but failed to score again as Carlton Aaron led the Raiders with 19 points.
On Friday, Newcastle Eagles began their title defence with an 85-83 defeat in Sheffield, after the Sharks scored the last eight points in the final 24 seconds.Reuse content