It was a throwback performance by Coach Rod Popp’s team, who are looking to return to their 2014 form that saw them narrowly miss out on a conference championship. With their core truly healthy for the first time since their postseason run, the Cobras showed they are a force to be reckoned with in 2016, putting on a clinic on both ends of the floor.

“I thought it was a really good start to the season for us,” Popp said.

“We had great balance on the offensive end and were solid defensively as a team.”

With only eight players available for the game, Kilsyth leaned on some name players to shoulder the scoring load. Kyle Adnam, Joel Naburgs and Tim Lang came up big on both ends of the floor, but it was the first half production from import Avery Johnson that fuelled the Cobras dominant first half. The swingman was lights-out over the game’s first 20 minutes, going 6-for-7 from the field and 4-for-4 from deep en route to 19 first half points, helping Kilsyth take a 55-28 into the break.

While Johnson was on fire early, it was Adnam that finished the Spartans off, putting on a dazzling show in the second half with some beautiful finishes and spectacular passes. After Brisbane cut the lead to 16 late in the third period, Adnam responded with a no-look dish to Johnson for a transition slam, then found Alex Vanrenen for a buzzer-beating layup with an incredible two hand flick pass over his head while falling out of bounds.

The Cobras cruised in the fourth quarter to finish with a 26 point win, giving the fans plenty to be excited about for the season ahead. Popp, too, was impressed with the excitement and energy his team brought on Saturday night, but still believes there is plenty of room for improvement with his group.

“When we are right, we’re really fun to watch, so we need to stay team focussed, work through the processes and understand what makes us successful.” Popp said.

“We still have plenty to work on going forward but I’m certainly pleased with the start.”

Adnam led the Cobras with game-highs of 29 points and nine assists, while Johnson finished with 23 points and six rebounds in his SEABL debut. Lang and Naburgs helped provide a little of everything, with the pair combining for 30 points, 24 rebounds and eight assists.

The Cobras hit the road for they first time in 2016 on Friday night as the take on Geelong at 8.00pm (Geelong Arena), before returning home on Saturday night to host Frankston (Women 6pm/Men 8pm).