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GAME REPORT

Franks the Bullets' Hero in 2OT Win Out West

Robert Franks joined the Brisbane Bullets for #NBL22 when Vic Law elected to sign at the Perth Wildcats and the two butted heads in a fascinating match up in Sunday's double-overtime thriller with Franks proving the hero at RAC Arena.

The Bullets arrived in Perth on Monday to settle in for an almost two-week stay to play the Wildcats at RAC Arena twice to avoid any COVID related restrictions. This week is now going to be much more bearable in their hotel after Sunday's 97-94 double overtime win in front of 11,295 fans.

Franks would end up the hero for the Bullets making the go-ahead three-pointer with 22 seconds to play before the Bullets held off a last-ditch shot from Bryce Cotton to earn a three-point victory after the 10 extra minutes.

Franks was going toe-to-toe, and shot for shot, for much of the night with former Bullet Law in a fascinating import match up. Franks would end up with 21 points and 12 rebounds, and while Law led the Wildcats with 29 points, he couldn’t quite deliver when it mattered most.

Bullets coach James Duncan praised his players for their fight and said the second last play where Perth missed a shot to win the game and the Bullets scrapped for the ball best demonstrated their resolve.

"Our guys diving on the floor for the loose ball [was the moment]," Duncan said.

"Our first game against the Jack Jumpers, they were on the floor first throughout the whole entirety of the game and so we wanted to make sure that we were diving on the floor for this game, for this exact moment. 

"We can control that end of the game and the guys did an amazing job was just going after it. I believe the ball went out on Bryce, I was really happy we got that ball."

Prior to Franks hitting the game winner for Brisbane, it was Lamar Patterson who had almost won it for them earlier and was instrumental in them staying alive in the two overtime periods. He delivered 27 points and four assists while nailing 6/8 from three-point territory.

Nathan Sobey did a terrific lockdown job on Bryce Cotton in the first half especially for Brisbane as well and had 19 points, 12 rebounds and five assists.

Patterson said the win was a demonstration of his side’s determination and grit.

"You saw a lot of fight and grit that's pretty much what we've been preaching this past week," Patterson said.

"And like JD said, we just didn't give up. A lot of shots were going in for us, for them but we just kept our heads up and kept it moving. Bryce made shots, Vic hit shots and we answered them and then when it came down to it we got the stop that we needed."

Cotton found his touch in the final term and overtime to finish with 19 points but shot 5/23 from the field for the game and 3/16 from deep including the missed shot at the finish.

Todd Blanchfield made a successful return for Perth, though, getting through 24 minutes for 14 points while knocking down 4/5 from three-point territory. Majok Majok fought valiantly with nine points and 14 rebounds.

Blanchfield said he had come through well on his return from a knee injury while his side would respond when they play the Bullets again on Friday night.

"We tried so hard, work so hard during the week to prepare ourselves to win and when you don't come away with that result, it's obviously disappointing," Blanchfield said.

"But at the same time we've got we get to we get to play him again next Friday, which is always nice. Right now it hurts and any losses is not fun. So it will be a pretty long week but at the same time we get to face them again and have a good week of preparation."

The Wildcats trailed in the fourth quarter to a feisty Bullets line-up and looked ready to cause an upset win until former Brisbane import Vic Law made a go-ahead three to take a slim lead.

Cotton then followed it with a three-pointer and was fouled with the four-point play giving Perth a 75-70 lead with a minute to play.

Cotton celebrated by pointing to where a wristwatch would be and saying it was his time to step up.

But a Lamar Patterson three with 13 seconds left tied the scores and a Wildcats’ miss through Law saw overtime.

Law put the Wildcats up 82-81 with a three with two minutes left in overtime but the Bullets tied scores at 84 with under a minute to play and desperation threes from Patterson and Sobey missed forced a second overtime.

Law’s three saw the Wildcats up 94-92 with 38 seconds to go in double overtime but the Bullets responded via a go-ahead three from Robert Franks with 22 seconds to play following an offensive rebound.

The Bullets lost guard Anthony Drmic to what appeared to be an ankle injury which came after he had ankle surgery in the off-season which required a long rehabilitation. He didn’t return and had ice on his foot and ankle while on the bench.

The best news out of it all? The two teams do it all again on Friday night back at RAC Arena.

HUNGRY JACK'S NBL ROUND 2

PERTH WILDCATS 94 (Law 29, Cotton 19, Blanchfield 14)

BRISBANE BULLETS 97 (Patterson 27, Franks 21, Sobey 19) 

BOX SCORE

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