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Wildcats welcome early taste of NBL finals

The Perths Wildcats face three teams in the mix to play the NBL finals in their run to the playoffs, but their coach Trevor Gleeson couldn't be happier.

Wildcats welcome early taste of NBL finals

The Perths Wildcats face three teams in the mix to play the NBL finals in their run to the playoffs, but their coach Trevor Gleeson couldn't be happier.

TREVOR GLEESON Perth Wildcats coach speaks to his players during the NBL match between the Melbourne United and the Perth Wildcats at Hisense Arena on in Melbourne, Australia.
TREVOR GLEESON Perth Wildcats coach speaks to his players during the NBL match between the Melbourne United and the Perth Wildcats at Hisense Arena on in Melbourne, Australia. Picture:Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Perth Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson couldn't be happier with his side's run in to the NBL finals.

The Wildcats booked their place in the playoffs with a big home win over the Illawarra Hawks on Friday night - their fourth consecutive victory.


Their final three games of the home-and-away season are against two sides - Sydney and Melbourne - they are almost certain to meet in the playoffs and Adelaide, who are fighting tooth and nail to sneak into the top four.

Gleeson says the schedule should allow his side to sharpen up.

"I don't mind it this way," he said.

"Three games are virtually three play-off games. You want those tough games because the play-offs come around pretty quick.

"You want to improve and you want to play against the best teams.

"We have to sharpen ourselves up the next couple of weeks."

Perth's next game is on Sunday, February 10, against the Sydney Kings, who along with Perth and Melbourne United, are fighting for the important home-court advantage in the finals that comes with finishing in the top two.

Gleeson is expecting a fired-up Kings side.

When they met over the Australia Day long weekend, Perth demolished the Kings in Sydney, winning by 20 points in a one-sided contest.

In mid-December, in Perth, David Wear dropped a match-winner for the Kings at the death, claiming a one-point victory.

The Kings had beaten Perth in Sydney by five points a week earlier.

"They got us here on our home court with that last shot of the game," Gleeson said shaking his head.

"It's still fresh in my brain.

"We have a good chance to rest up and prepare ourselves."

The Wildcats then host Adelaide on February 15 before finishing their regular-season games against Melbourne United, at Melbourne Arena two days' later.

After the win over Illawarra and with that tough final weekend in mind, Gleeson said he welcomed the mini-break his side enjoyed before they had to face the Kings.

Because they couldn't shake the Hawks off, Nick Kay, Bryce Cotton and Terrico White were all forced to play more than 30 minutes.

"There were high minutes with Nick, Terrico and Bryce playing three three, four, or five minutes too much, but they were playing so well, you want to keep them out there," Gleeson said.

"It was a big game for us to win and Illawarra was throwing everything at us.

"Now we have to focus on the Sydney Kings."

AAP


AAP




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