The night before the first game of a season should be one filled with excitement and anticipation for the competition ahead.
That was not the case for Dubbo Rams coach Damien Reid before Saturday's opening game of the 2019 Waratah League season.
Late on Friday night Reid and Rams discovered international stars Charles Baines and Rob Dewar were not correctly cleared and registered to play, leading to a stressful lead-in to the clash with Orange.
The Rams worked tirelessly all day Saturday to rectify the issue but it wasn't able to be corrected in time, meaning the pair was ruled out of the game.
With arguably their two best players stuck on the pine, the Rams weren't able to overcome a spirited Orange Eagles side at the Woolshed.
"I didn't find out about it until 10pm on Friday so it was a pretty sleepless night," Rams coach Damien Reid said.
"We definitely gave it until the last minute. We were waiting for confirmation from Basketball Australia but it didn't come through. We had people from Basketball NSW trying to push it through but unfortunately didn't happen in time."
Reid said the finger was not being pointed at anyone within Dubbo Basketball Association after the mix-up, with American Baines and Canadian Dewar joining the side late in pre-season and full registration taking plenty of time.
"It's no-one's fault. This happens and we'll learn from it. We'll put some things in place so we get our imports in sooner," Reid said.
While the match was nothing like the Rams wanted on the opening night of the season, it was a dream start to life in the Waratah League for the Eagles.
The Orange side is new to the competition and ran out 79-58 winners against a Dubbo side which was scrambling to fill its roster before the match.
It's no-one's fault. This happens and we'll learn from it.Damien Reid on the error which forced new recruits to miss Saturday's game
"The heart was there and we were right there level with them at half-time but we went to sleep in the third quarter and didn't adjust and that cost us the game," Reid said.
Despite the painful defeat, there were positives for the Rams.
Dan Medway, back in the fold after a season away from the game, controlled proceedings with class and finished with a team-high 21 points.
Teenagers Sam Chappell and Oscar Walker also made their Waratah League debuts in the home game and both also got on the score-sheet, the latter draining a three-point shot in his time on the court.
"Dan Medway stepped up massively," Reid said.
"He led front the front and he's a natural leader, to be honest. He's level-headed and in the big moments he doesn't get flustered. He's really handy.
"Another highlight for me was the young guys who are only just out of under 18s."
The Rams don't return home until March 30, with games away at Lithgow and Shoalhaven next on the agenda.
"I don't read too much into the first game of the season," Reid said, moving on from Saturday's loss.
"It would have been nice to win but championships aren't won in round one."