The Roar
The Roar


Perth Wildcats suffer third straight NBL loss at home

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5th April, 2022

Melbourne United coach Dean Vickerman says his side are ready to “lock in” and find momentum late in the season following an intense 84-75 win over Perth on the road.

Entering the contest on a two-game slide, United held the Wildcats to just 13 points after being level at three-quarter time.

Shea Ili’s intensity propelled them to a famous win. The New Zealander was everywhere in the final quarter, disrupting Perth’s Bryce Cotton on the defensive end and finding extra possessions for his side in the clutch.

Ili’s dagger three with two minutes remaining put United 11 points ahead and capped off a stellar night for the guard as the Wildcats suffered three straight losses at home for the first time since 1999.

“We feel like this is this is our time right now to to really lock in, to just play with an absolute desperation and and winning effort,” Vickerman said.


“We’ve got some great highlights tonight about what it takes to go ahead and win big games and especially win big games on the road.

“One of our goals this year was to try and win at everybody’s venue and we got that done tonight. So, wherever we finish in the playoff race, we’ve got the ability to walk in every venue with a good memory of getting a win.”

Chris Goulding top-scored for the visitors with 18 points, while Matthew Dellavedova added five triples and Ili five steals.


United also outscored the hosts by 24 with Jack White on the court in what a comprehensive team display.

The victory cements United’s position at the top of  the NBL ladder; Perth are fourth as the season enters its final few weeks.

Now on a three-game losing streak, Wildcats coach Scott Morrison said he saw improvements from his short-handed side from their previous loss to Sydney, but United’s defence was top tier.

“I was pleased with the effort of the guys. I thought we left it all out there,” Morrison said.


“We’re short-handed, gave it all we had, which is kind of the first step in getting back on the right track.

“They really ramped up their defence in the second half, bogged us down. We got caught staring and searching for Bryce (Cotton) a little too often instead of just attacking. But they forced us into that.”

The WIldcats have a short turnaround when the New Zealand Breakers fly west on Thursday, when United are also back in action in their local derby against South East Melbourne Phoenix.