Brisbane's Jermaine Beal looks to take on the defence during the round one NBL match between the Bullets and the Wildcats at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.
Brisbane's Jermaine Beal looks to take on the defence during the round one NBL match between the Bullets and the Wildcats at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Bradley Kanaris

Bullets return to NBL with a bang

BASKETBALL: The Brisbane Bullets have returned to the NBL with a come-from-behind 72-65 win over the Perth Wildcats in Brisbane.

American imports Jermaine Beal and Torrey Craig led the Bullets to a 19-0 run in the third quarter to go into the final stanza seven points ahead.

Playing against his former club, Beal had 14 points including four three-pointers, while Craig, a former Cairns Taipan, had 16 points and seven rebounds.

Former Boomer Adam Gibson joined in the scoring with 11 points.

Bullets and Australian national team coach Andrej Lemanis was pleased with the Americans' contributions.

"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 care 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.”

The Wildcats' Iowa State product Jameel McKay had 18 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots for the visitors.

Perth coach Trevor Gleeson praised McKay and former Australian forward Jesse Wagstaff, but was angry at his team letting its half-time advantage slip.

"Jameel's work rate was fantastic for the whole game. He 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.”

The Bullets travel to Sydney to take on the Andrew Gaze-coached Kings on Saturday, while the Wildcats host the Taipans.