Bullets off to winning start

Birmingham Bullets, last season's beaten championship finalists, began the new campaign with a win as captain Chris Watson led from the front in Saturday's 119-97 victory over Brighton Bears.

Birmingham Bullets, last season's beaten championship finalists, began the new campaign with a win as captain Chris Watson led from the front in Saturday's 119-97 victory over Brighton Bears.

The 6ft 7in Watson, made captain by new coach Lance Randall and one of four fresh imports in the Bullets line-up, scored 26 points and added 16 rebounds and six assists.

Runs of 20-2 and 11-3 gave Bullets control over Brighton, whose scorers were led by 23 points by Wilbur Johnson, a summer signing from Sheffield Sharks.

Rob Paternostro, who received international clearance to play only just before the game, scored 22 points for the Bullets, supported by 19 from the England international Yorick Williams.

Bullets' former captain Nigel Lloyd opened his coaching career with Milton Keynes Lions with an 80-76 victory at Thames Valley Tigers.

Lloyd's fellow Barbadian international Andrew Alleyne led their scorers with 17 while former Tiger Jason Siemon weighed in with 15.

Last season's championship winners Manchester Giants beat under-strength Leicester City Riders 93-74. Riders' Larry Johnson was injured and Robert Youngblood did not receive international clearance in time for the game.

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