Basketball | Colorado Colorado Springs Mountain Lions beat Newcastle Hunters 92-65.

THE touring University of Colorado Colorado Springs Mountain Lions bared their teeth at Broadmeadow on Thursday night, outclassing a depleted Newcastle Hunters 92-65.

Newcastle’s American imports Austin Thornton and Sharif Watson sat out the international exhibition, allowing coach Darren Nichols a chance to rotate his Waratah Basketball League squad and give Hunters Youth League big man Myles Cherry a game with the senior team.

Cherry, who returns to later this month to continue his own US college career at Division I school Lafayette, had 15 points for the Hunters and Jacob Foy led Newcastle’s scoring effort with 18.

FAREWELL: Josh Morgan

FAREWELL: Josh Morgan

The Mountain Lions, a Division II team from the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, led 41-30 at half-time.

It was the last game at Broadmeadow for Hunters captain Josh Morgan, who will retire from the Waratah League at the end of the season.

The Hunters have a bye through the first round of the play-offs this weekend, having already qualified for a semi-final at Hills Basketball Association on Saturday week.

The Hunters women’s team will play minor premiers Norths in a semi-final at Hills on the same day.

Meanwhile, Newcastle’s Youth League men’s team will play Hills Hornets in an elimination play-off at Newcastle Basketball Stadium at 6pm on Saturday.

AAP reports: Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers have been given the honour to open the 2018-19 NBA season.

The reigning rookie of the year's rise has helped the ascending Eastern Conference franchise net the season opener on October 16, as the NBA released part of the regular season broadcast schedule on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old former Novocastrian will face off against countryman Aron Baynes and the Boston Celtics in a rematch of their Eastern Conference semi-finals play-off match-up in May.

The Golden State Warriors' Finals MVP Kevin Durant will be presented with a second championship ring before meeting his former team the Oklahoma City Thunder to complete the opening-night double-header.

NBA superstar LeBron James will have to wait until October 18 to make his LA Lakers debut in Portland after the Akron native left his hometown professional hoops club Cleveland for a second time over the off-season.

His home debut in the Lakers' famous purple and gold uniform is scheduled for two days later against James Harden and Chris Paul's Houston Rockets.

James is slated to meet the Warriors, who swept his overmatched Cavaliers in last season's NBA Finals, for at least two prime-time blockbusters on Christmas Day and Martin Luther King Day.

Boomers forward Joe Ingles will also be hunting for the champion's scalp when Golden State travel to Salt Lake City for the Utah Jazz's home opener on October 19.

Health permitting, Toronto will show off star recruit Kawhi Leonard when the Celtics come to town earlier that same day.

Later in the season, the Celtics and 76ers will renew hostilities again as part of a five-game Christmas Day extravaganza which also includes the New York Knicks hosting the Milwaukee Bucks at Madison Square Garden.

The full 2018-19 NBA regular-season schedule will be announced on Friday