BRADFORD Dragons visited Liverpool Basketball Club on Saturday, in a precursor to the new National Basketball League campaign, and won 78-56.

Liverpool finished third in Division Two last season, but despite being in the tier below, they had already beaten Bradford's top-flight rivals Manchester Magic the previous weekend.

The Dragons travelled with an eight-man squad for this pre-season fixture, with new signing Clayfell Harris missing due to personal commitments and Drexler Clark’s arrival in the UK from America imminent.

Newcomer Andreas Lycoudis stepped in to the starting five, in place of the departed Eisley Swaine, who has taken his game to the United States.

The Dragons drew first blood through a basket from American power forward, Ricky Fetske. They followed this with a two from Latvian Rihards Šulcs to open up a four-point gap.

The hosts responded quickly and the lead chopped and changed early on. Joaquín Calvo sank a three-pointer to put the Dragons 9-8 in front, but it was Liverpool who dominated the rest of the opening quarter to go 19-13 ahead.

Bradford soon levelled the scores at 19-19 in the second period, with homegrown Jermayne Laing bucketing a brace of baskets.

The quarter remained close thereafter and, with the buzzer nearing half-time, the hosts were ahead by two, 32-30.

But, in the dying moments of the half, Fetske levelled proceedings before Lycoudis netted a three, taking the Dragons into the locker room with a slim 35-32 advantage.

Liverpool moved to within one straight after the restart, but Fetske swiftly responded with a three, and then Šulcs with a two.

At the opposite end, another newcomer, Allie Fullah, came up with a fantastic block, setting Laing up to add to Bradford’s score.

The hosts briefly fought back but a couple of threes from Lycoudis stretched the Dragons' lead out further.

When the buzzer sounded for the end of the penultimate period, Bradford were firmly in control, with the scores at 61-40.

In the final period, a trademark Fetske slam dunk got the Dragons into gear before Bradford’s third debutant, Matthew Armstrong, hit a three from outside the arc.

He proceeded to put up the final score, with a single from the line, to make it 78-56.

Fetske led the Dragons’ scorers with 23 points, whilst Šulcs and Laing shared second spot with 16 each. Lycoudis also capped an impressive debut with 11 points.

The Dragons face a National Trophy double header next weekend.

They travel to Newcastle University Knights on Saturday at 6pm before their opening home fixture, at Bradford College Sports Hall, against Lancashire rivals Manchester Magic the following afternoon at 4:15pm.

Advance tickets for the Manchester game are available via the club website.