The new-look Penrith 'Pioneer Tavern' Panthers senior men's basketball team hit a road bump on Saturday night, in their first game of the 2014 Waratah Championship League (WCL) competition, losing 80-68 to a young Sutherland Sharks team in Sutherland.
In spite of suiting up seven new players and a new head coach, Penrith were favoured to not only win but to stamp some early authority on this year's WCL competition.
The Panthers were instead outplayed in most facets of the game, with the Sharks winning almost every statistical category.
Thankfully, the Sharks were not quite as sharp as the Panthers from the free throw line, otherwise their winning margin would have been even higher.
This weekend's opponents Central Coast have always been a tough opponent for Penrith teams and the Crusaders started their season with a 72-69 win over the Illawarra Hawks in Round One.
Former Sydney Kings Development Player Callum Jenkins and his bookend teammate Jason Taylor were both prominent in the Crusaders win and will be Penrith's biggest dangers on Saturday night.
There has been some good news for the Association prior to the start of the season, with the Pioneer Tavern signing on as major sponsors of the Men's team and Davlin Security as major sponsors for the Women's team.
Sutherland Sharks 80 def Penrith 'Pioneer Tavern' Panthers 68 (Louis Brandt 16 points, Nic Pozoglou 12, Jarrod Sorenson 10)