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Perth keen to capitalise on NBL home run

16th January, 2016
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Perth Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson says a stretch of five home game is great preparation for the NBL finals.

The Wildcats snapped a three-game losing streak and moved back into second place on the NBL ladder with a 27-point thrashing of the Sydney Kings in Perth on Friday night.

Before the Kings return to WA on February 5, the Cats have games against the third-placed Illawarra Hawks, Cairns Taipans, top side Melbourne United – all at home.

Gleeson said it was an important stretch in terms of the finish to this season.

“We have play-off teams coming,” he said.

“We have to improve. We have to keep getting better and playing Wildcats basketball.

“Tonight was a great first step.

“We will have another hard game next week and it will toughen us up. We need to be toughened up for the finals and it’s a great preparation for us.”

Although declaring top-side Melbourne the team to beat, Gleeson said that the Hawks presented a massive challenge, with two MVPs (Kevin Lisch and Kirk Penney), an in-form AJ Ogilvy and a squad of role players playing their position well.

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And he has challenged import Casey Prather to back up his best on court performance against the Kings.

Prather shot 27 points on Friday night, at 64 per cent, and sparked the Wildcats in a dominant third quarter with 10 points, including three baskets from beyond the three-point line.

“He plays that level, he is a very, very good player and that is the consistent player he need to get Casey to. That’s the standard now,” he said.

“When him and (Damian Martin) are putting pressure on in the back court its infectious for the rest of the group.”

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