BALLARAT Miners recovered from a sluggish start to out-last Chinese tourists Dongguan Leopards in an exhibition game in Ballarat on Tuesday night.
The young Miners came from 17 points down in the opening quarter to take the honours 69-67 at the Wendouree Sports and Events Centre.
There was plenty to like about the performance by a team predominantly made up of development players working under the guidance of Miners head coach Guy Molloy and hoping to make an impact in the South Eastern Australian Basketball league next season.
Ballarat Holden Miners recruit Chris Blicavs impressed.
The Big V Youth League most valuable player scored 20 points on debut and was a leading light in the comeback.
Dongguan showed the benefit of match practice to begin much sharper than Ballarat, being quick to intercept passes and hit open three-pointers.
Dongguan’s led 24-7 late in the first quarter.
Blicavs and his new teammates then began find their rhythm.
Blicavs scored 17 points in the second and thirds periods shot to get the Miners within one point of the Leopards.
Australian representative Anthony Fisher scored seven points late.
Two points up inside the last minute, the Miners almost allowed Dongguan a late chance with a shot clock mix up.
However, they were able to maintain possession after the ball was knocked out of bound and get the win.
Sean Massey and Jack Saunders scored 11 and 10 points respectively for Ballarat.
Ballarat will begin to get its full squad together early in the new year when major signings Chris Smith and Matthew Hanson arrive in Ballarat.