The Illawarra Hawks let slip a double digit half time advantage to fall to a 75-71 preseason defeat against bitter rivals Sydney Kings at the Snakepit on Saturday night.
After leading 44-30 at the main break, Illawarra were outscored 32-13 in the third quarter as Kings import Perry Ellis led a fightback.
Ellis, who was a standout at the University of Kansas, led all scorers with 21 points on the night.
Star centre AJ Ogilvy was the Hawks best, with 14 points, 13 rebounds and four assists while new import Demitius Conger had some bright moments before getting in foul trouble.
Conger finished 12 points in just 13 minutes of court time.
Fellow new import Delvon Johnson had six points, six rebounds, three blocks but five turnovers in his first match at home.
Sydney’s Isaac Humphries (15 points), Brad Newley (11 points), Kevin Lisch (10 points) and Todd Blanchfield (10 points) all had double digits.