IT MAY have been an early start to the season for Mitch Philp, but that didn't stop him from turning on the magic.
Rockhampton's Hegvold Stadium was packed to the rafters with die-hard basketball fans on Friday night as the McDonald's Rocky Rockets faced touring US ex-college basketball team the Prossim Sports Management All Stars.
Philp said while the encounter came early in their preseason, the Rockets would benefit from the extra floor work and confidence accompanying the 89-83 victory.
"It was a really good hit out," Philp said.
"It was good to get a win early in the season; we didn't want to come out in front of a home crowd and go down."
The point-guard made his 2014 debut back on Australian soil after spending three weeks on holiday in the US but despite having been off the court, he hadn't lost too much of his charm.
Philp said the match had given him an insight into what to improve in training.
"I was a bit rusty after being overseas; the first thing you lose is your touch," he said.
"I was off on a couple of things."
Philp said he was impressed with the next generation of Rockets stars - Zac Smith, Jared Blanchard and twins Damon and Leo Christensen.
"They had lots of court time and a taste of the game," he said.
"On court experience is another step for them.
"The four of them did really well."
The Rockets next appearance on court will be on April 5 when they take on Mackay at Hegvold Stadium.