So close for the Ballarat Miners in their season opener tonight.
Missed chances in final dying plays allowed Mt Gambier to snatch a three-point victory in South East Australian Basketball League action at the Minerdome tonight.
Miners captain Matt Hanson was in stellar form to mark his club debut.
Hanson finished with 30 points - including five three-pointers and an 11-point second quarter - and 11 rebounds, but it was his exciting play that had the crowd roaring on their feet.
The American formed an exciting duel with Pioneer Titus Robinson at the post.
Robinson chalked up 36 points, 15 rebounds and helped lead the Pioneers late charge with Erik Burdon (28 points, five rebounds).
A thriller first quarter had scores tied 22-all at quarter-time. Then the Miners lifted.
Young gun Anthony Fisher (20 points, four assists) added spark. Kris Blicavs (17 points, five rebounds) was strong in support.
The Miners held control until the Pioneers clawed back early in the fourth.
MT GAMBIER 22 37 61 86
BALLARAT 22 48 66 83