Melbourne United down Brisbane Bullets in NBL clash

Melbourne remain on the top of the NBL ladder after surviving a late surge from Brisbane in their Heritage round clash to emerge 105-98 winners at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on Saturday.

Melbourne controlled the game for much of the second half and at one point were cruising with a 15 point-lead midway through the third quarter.

They led 85-75 heading into the final term.

Brisbane rallied though, closing to within three points (98-95) after import Travis Trice made a pair of foul shots on the back of an Adam Gibson three-point bucket, which closed the gap.

But with dynamic import Casper Ware (22 points) lighting up and skipper Chris Goulding (21) making a couple of tough off-balance baskets, Melbourne had too much scoring power in the crucial minutes.

It was another tough loss for Brisbane who had a number of players from their 1985 and 1987 Championship winning teams sitting in the stands.

They included legend Leroy Loggins and Larry Sengstock, the coach of both title-winning sides, Brian Kerle and Paul Webb - a 1987 player who flew in from New York for the big occasion.

Melbourne's new import Carrick Felix showcased his skills with 14 points and four rebounds in 26 minutes of court time, while bench forward Craig Moller contributed a valuable 12 points.