BRADFORD Dragons were given a stark reminder that basketball is a game of four quarters and not three in their latest English National League fixture.

With two minutes left in the penultimate period of the Division One contest, they were leading high-flying visitors Derby Trailblazers 62-47 – and were still 65-56 in front when that stanza ended.

However, the hosts went five minutes without scoring in the fourth quarter and had three players fouled out, while Derby – inspired by a groggy Brian Amablino Perez – hit back to triumph 79-74.

Dragons coach Chris Mellor said: "I am obviously gutted with the loss. I thought we played well for 35 minutes but in the last five we missed key foul shots and offensively down the stretch we just didn't get good looks at the basket.

"Fair play to them, though. They hung around when they were down, upped their defence at the right time and made plays and foul shots in the last few minutes."

Dwayne Camille, signed from neighbours Leeds Force for his capabilities at both ends of the court, was on Bradford's bench against the second-placed visitors, who led 20-19 after the first quarter, the highlight of which was a trademark Nick Moore dunk.

Blazers were still 29-28 in front halfway through the second quarter but the Dragons were growing in stature and mean defence restricted Derby to a couple of single-pointers in the last three-and-a-half minutes as the home side went to the locker rooms 40-33 ahead.

A couple of early three-pointers on the resumption from Rafi Saipe and Adria Rodriguez Vinas extended Bradford's lead to 13 points before a mid-air collision between Rihards Sulcs and Perez resulted in the Derby player crashing his head into the back wall.

Clearly dazed, he was led off, the match resuming after the referees were happy that all of the blood had been removed from the playing area.

A two-pointer from Ricky Fetske gave Dragons that game-high 15-point lead and the advantage was still 13 three minutes into the final period.

However, Perez – complete with white head bandage – returned to the court and played a big part in Derby's comeback.

The visitors upped the tempo and Bradford caved in, the Trailblazers levelling the scores with 92 seconds remaining and taking the lead when Perez sank one of his two free-throws.

Vinas levelled matters from the free-throw line but that was to be the Dragons' last score.

Fetske topped Bradford's scoring with 23 and also claimed 13 rebounds for a double double, while Camille contributed 13 points including three out of four three-pointers. Moore (10) and Sulcs (9) also chipped in.

Next up for the Dragons is a long trip to second-bottom Kent Crusaders in Gillingham on Saturday.

Kent have only won one game in the league so far this season, although that was at the Dragons Den in November, and it is not ideal preparation for Sunday's National Trophy semi-final at home to leaders and National Cup winners Manchester Magic (4.15pm).

In the curtain-raiser to the Derby match, the Dragons' under-18s beat Tees Valley Mohawks 74-41, while the under-16s lost 99-46 to City of Birmingham at Buttershaw Business and Enterprise College on Saturday lunchtime.

That game was preceded by the under-14s, who thumped Sheffield Junior Sharks Seconds 113-30.