In front of a packed Elphin Sports Centre, the Tasmania JackJumpers made their mark on the Launceston faithful with a 83-68 win over Cairns.
Seeming to be a franchise who sense the occasion, Launceston's own Sejr Deans made the JackJumpers' starting five in front of a passionate home crowd.
The young guard looked comfortable at the level, taking contact early to draw a foul before draining a crisp go-ahead two-pointer early in the opening term.
"It's pretty unbelievable to suit up in front of a lot of family and friends, super excited," Deans said.
"I was pretty nervous coming into the game obviously playing your first minutes is pretty nerve-wracking but then I got off my first shot and it went in ... it felt pretty good."
Coach Scott Roth has spoken previously about being open to playing a small-ball line-up but the Taipans' big men in Nate Jawai and Stephen Zimmerman loomed large early when the JackJumpers looked vulnerable in the paint as Cairns led the rebounds 38-34.
What the JackJumpers gave up in size they delivered in unrelenting defensive pressure. It is clear that Will Magnay (nine rebounds, four blocks) and athletic guard Sam McDaniel (four rebounds) will be key on that front but it was the frantic team pressure which forced Cairns into misplacing passes (20-11 turnovers).
"Obviously they rested some guys and missed some shots but that's basketball, you can only play who is on the court," JackJumpers' Josh Magette said.
"I feel like for the most part in pre-season give or take a few quarters here and there we've been pretty good defensively."
For two teams many expect to be near each other in the standings this season, the Blitz fixture produced an expectedly tight affair.
The Taipans surged quickly thanks to an early scoring chain before the JackJumpers' grinded back during the first term and held the lead into the third.
That ended when Taipans' import Tahjere McCall sunk a three-pointer, yet, both sides never really drew away from the other until late in the third. While the JackJumpers' struggled from mid-range early, their ability to spot-and-hit three-pointers saw them hold a seven-point bufferinto the final term.
"I think the comfort level is growing every game, just knowing where guys like the ball and where guys like to score and be aggressive," Magette said.
"I think whether it's the imports or Australian guys getting more comfortable with each other I think it's been great, I think you're seeing that synergy grow every single night."
The Taipans' inability to take care of the ball has been noticeable all tournament and it was no exception at Elphin. The JackJumpers' cleaner passing allowed them to control the game to a winning conclusion.
The win ensures that JackJumpers exit the Blitz on a high despite an overall losing record while the Taipans have plenty of questions to answer ahead of the regular season.
Attack will be Roth's biggest question heading into the regular season. The Launceston crowd saw a few variations including Magette (26 points) and Josh Adams (15 points) sharing the ball-handling responsibilities.
When Magette found his scoring-range in the second term, the guard's ability to cut away to open teammates, including Adams, looked potent with a42 per cent field goalnight for Tasmania.
MiKyle McIntosh (18 points, 80 per cent from three-point shooting) seems a vital piece in the JackJumpers' mix especially if he maintains his shooting form from the Blitz.
Now the wait is on for the season opener against Brisbane Bullets in a landmark moment for Tasmanian sport.
"I think if the preseason games are going to be any indication it's going to be rocking next Friday ... we're just really, really excited to get out there," Magette said.
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