Newly-promoted Danum Eagles went down 76-70 to Derbyshire Arrows in their opening National League Division Two fixture.
Minus experienced pair Scott Richards and George Colwill, Eagles started slowly and found themselves 12 points down early on.
The third quarter brought about an improvement from the Doncaster club but the overall performance was well below the standard set over the past two seasons.
Paul Walsh, who led the scoring with 13, was instrumental in reducing the deficit to three points but Arrows hit a huge shot and saw the game out.
Eagles welcome Kent Crusaders to The Pods in Scunthorpe on Saturday.