THE Portsmouth Fury have opened their season in the Solent League division one east with back-to-back defeats.
They were beaten by The Phoenix 76-70 at Portsmouth Grammar School on Wednesday night.
Missed opportunities were costly for the hosts.
Fury co-founder Steve Ware said: ‘We could really do with practising our free throws and adjusting our offence quickly when their defence changes.
‘On a couple of occasions they switched from man-to-man to a zone defence and it took us a few possessions to get comfortable.
‘We need to work on boxing out and rebounding too.
‘The Phoenix had a lot of second chances from offensive rebounds.’
Fury’s troubles began early on in the game, with star player Antonio Santoro picking up three quick fouls in the opening quarter, forcing him to be substituted.
Despite the foul trouble, they only trailed by three points.
However, The Phoenix took control of the game in the second quarter, scoring 10 unanswered points.
The Fury brought the game back to within three points in the third quarter, but a string of missed opportunities and troubles at the free throw line in the final period allowed The Phoenix to hold on for the victory.
Santoro led the way for The Fury with 26 points in the game, followed by Paul Goodale with 11 points.
The defeat leaves the Portsmouth outfit bottom of the league table.
Tom Kovas took charge of the team after recently being forced to retire after yet another major knee injury.
Ware added: ‘He found out just how hard coaching can be, there are a lot of people to keep happy.’
Next up for the Fury is a trip to the Hamble Hornets on Thursday.
Portsmouth Navy Royal Smugglers are in action on Monday when they travel to The Phoenix.