The Parramatta Wildcats senior men's team has overcome the absence of new signings Richard Clark and Stephen Rafty at the 2012 Bruins Challenge, defeating the reigning premiers the Northern Suburbs Bears 80-66 on Sunday afternoon at the Bankstown Basketball Stadium.
The win over the Bears almost atoned for the Wildcats 84-79 loss to the Bankstown Bruins on Saturday afternoon, when on and off-court drama dominated events.
American Andre Lyons had turned up out of the blue during the previous week and Wildcats head coach Merve Tait immediately threw him into the firing line at the challenge, hoping he would prove a valuable asset this season.
As fortune transpired, Lyons allowed Bruins captain Greg Barnes to 'get under his skin' during the game and after a one-sided scuffle between the pair and a torrent of abusive language from Lyons, the big American was sent off by the three officals.
Parramatta had been on target prior to that incident but lost focus in the closing stages, allowing the Bruins to grab a 5-point win.
The Parramatta women have also lost both of their new imports during the week, before the first ball of the season was even bounced.
This year promises to be another tough one for the Lady Wildcats, who fell 62-35 to the Lady Bruins and 68-39 to the Sydney City Comets - both games on Saturday.
Parramatta's Youth League men had a mixed weekend, defeating the Sydney Uni Spiders 70-65 but falling 70-65 to the Sydney City Comets and 84-60 to the Hills District Hornets.