Brisbane Bullets only had to look over to the other side of the bench for inspiration.
There appeared a calming presence throughout a 92-85 comeback win on Saturday night against Adelaide 36ers.
Even when Brisbane was jumped from the outset and had to fight off a late surge.
Even when the head coach was out of the game, watching, but silent to the very end.
Sitting conspicuously in the front row were Bullets royalty Leroy Loggins and his 1980s sidekick Cal Bruton.
The latter of the legends was beaming a little when the Silverdome MC had mentioned the Bullets in passing.
Bruton could look to his son coaching the club that the pair had led to its historic first championship success.
"He gets to Brisbane quite a bit still," a proud CJ Bruton told The Examiner.
"When we're on the road, him living in Canberra, he'll go to every game we've got in Sydney and will drive to Illawarra against the Hawks.
"From when I played to when I coached, he always has supported me.
"He still does love the NBL because that's what brought our family to Australia and to be inducted into the hall of fame, and have a cup named after Leroy and himself is an honour, and so is being a part of the Bullets myself."
Brisbane coach Andrej Lemanis had just returned from Australia's fourth-place finish at basketball's world cup, but was keen to let his assistant run all the plays.
Bruton had taken over the preseason and was running the program. So it was his NBL Blitz to polish up the finished product for Lemanis.
ELSEWHERE IN SPORT
"It's our starting point, so we were going to learn from every game that we play. Right now this is where it starts," Bruton said.
"We ask them to do something, be up the floor and get after them, play with energy and effort because if you look down at our bench, there is minutes for everybody."
The Bullets started slowly to trail 21-15, but it was out to nine points moments before the quarter-time buzzer.
Still it didn't take the 36ers much time to stretch the lead out to double figures, but for Bruton first things first.
He gave out instructions and his players delivered.
Nailing six of the last eight points in the final two and a half minutes before the half was the first step.
"We just had to give ourselves the best chance of being successful and shooting our shots," Bruton said.
"We recruited these guys that are very talented and we don't want to take away from them, but we need a collective effort from both ends."
Brisbane had taken control early in the third before the 36ers pegged back the score 69-69 at the last change.
But calmer heads were prevailing. Adelaide coach Joey Wright continued his running battle with referees over line-ball calls.
So when Matthew Hodgson put together back-to-back shots to give Brisbane an eight-point lead with under 90 seconds left, the Tasmanian trip proved a worthwhile venture.
It meant a lot to Bruton.
"The preseason Blitz is always great and for me, being in Tasmania is extra special," he said. "Not just what Larry Kestelman is doing in our league, but what he is trying to do here in Tasmania.
"My father being a coach, who was down here for many years and going through history because I can and I remember those [Devils] guys."
NBL Blitz preseason
CAIRNS Taipans 87 (Majok Deng 18, Kouat Noi 17, DJ Newbill 12) NBL1 All-Stars 68 (Isaac Turner 21, Dain Swetalla 11, Lachlan Barker 10)
BRISBANE Bullets 92 (Lamar Patterson 20, Matthew Hodgson 16, Nathan Sobey 16) ADELAIDE 36ers 85 (Deshon Taylor 23, Eric Griffin 14, Daniel Johnson 11)
Attendance: 1588 at the Silverdome
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