BIG Storage Cheshire Jets got their BBL Trophy campaign up and running at the Northgate Arena on Sunday.
Having lost their opening two group games, the Jets entertained the MK Lions and won 90-87.
The Lions trailed 68-64 going into the final period but a 9-3 start gave them the lead for the first time in the game. The Jets came back with a 12-5 blitz of their own to retake the lead at 83-80 midway through the quarter.
The excitement mounted as a Tony Windless three-pointer for the Lions tied the scores at 87-87 with one minute and 40 seconds remaining.
The Jets then took a giant step towards victory when Jayson Obazuaye netted his 25th point of the contest with 35 seconds left to make it 89-87.
The Lions had the opportunity to tie the game, but Shawn Jamison missed the basket, and then fouled Jets’ Mark Pratt on the following play, sending him to the free-throw line with four seconds left.
Pratt held his nerve to make one from two at the foul-line. The Lions came close to taking the game into overtime, but Terrell Brown's long-range effort on the buzzer was not successful.
Meanwhile, TJ Walker has returned to take charge of the Jets after having successful keyhole surgery to fix a damaged knee.
The Californian head coach returned to his native America over the festive period to have the operation, which is understood to have gone extremely well.
Walker, who returned to the UK in time to take the reins for the MK Lions match, is expected to resume light training this week with the aim of returning to playing action by late January or early February.
He said: “My knee is feeling really good, considering how recent the operation was.
“I had a similar operation on the other knee a couple of seasons ago and by comparison it feels a whole lot better this time.
“The real challenge is not to come back too soon and risk causing more damage, but the end of January seems a realistic timescale.
“I am really looking forward to getting back into the coaching. The past three weeks or so have not been easy for the Jets with my knee and James Hamilton’s groin injury but things seem to be looking up again.”