BBL: Newcastle Eagles battle their way to win over Durham Wildcats on opening night
Last Updated: 27/09/13 10:52pm
Darius Defoe: Was the top-scorer as Newcastle started the season with a win
Newcastle Eagles made a winning start to the British Basketball League season as they edged out Durham Wildcats 85-78.
The Eagles, champions two seasons ago, led their north-east rivals by 15 points at half-time but had to hold on after Durham closed to within one score in the final period.
Darius Defoe top-scored with 22 points, with Danny Huffor racking up 17 for Durham.
London Lions also won a close game, seeing off Manchester Giants 80-75 at the Copper Box Arena after almost letting a 20-point lead slip away.
Rod Brown and Joe Ikhiminwin led the way with 22 points each, while Manchester's Rob Marsden scored 19.
Sheffield Sharks beat Cheshire Phoenix 73-61 with Mike Tuck scoring 20 points. BBL debutant Masse Doumbe scored 15 for Cheshire.