Hungry Jack's NBL
Perth Wildcats v Adelaide 36ers Game Preview
Perth Wildcats v Adelaide 36ers When: 9.30pm (AEDT), Saturday 5 November Where: Perth Arena Broadcast: NBL TV; Fox Sports; Sky Sport NZ He’s back When Perth and Adelaide meet, fans don’t need extra reasons to be get excited, it’s the NBL’s longest running rivalry and regardless of ladder position they produce intense and physical battles. But thanks to the superhuman efforts of Damian Martin, this Saturday’s clash at The Jungle has some extra spice. Less than two weeks after fracturing his jaw against Melbourne – and playing out the game – the NBL’s greatest defensive force is back, and coach Trevor Gleeson is pretty happy about it. “Damian’s toughness is why the crowd loves him, and this is another example of that. He goes in there amongst bigger and stronger players. He’s the heart and the soul of the Wildcats,” Gleeson said.
We're underway in ADL and @jerome_randle has picked up where he left off last Sunday ? pic.twitter.com/YwAzBu1zBy — NBL (@NBL) October 14, 2016A time to run In New Zealand, the 36ers simply didn’t come with the energy required to make that happen, the Breakers claiming a massive 80 per cent of the boards at their defensive end, running the 36ers off their feet and forcing them to take the ball out of the net time and time again. “We were flat, we came out flat, we didn’t stick to our assignments on defence and that’s what really hurt us,” centre Eric Jacobsen said. “Any team that beats you on the boards is going to be hard to win against, especially if they're getting second chance shots.” Perth also got out-run in Wollongong as the Hawks snapped their losing streak, but coach Gleeson wasn’t too concerned about the nature of the game. “We like that style,” he said. “We’ve got some athletes that we want to take advantage of and play to their strengths. That’s something we’ve been working on, getting out running a little bit more and we’ll continue to do that.” However, after spending last season as the NBL’s half-court experts Perth had their struggles in the faster pace, especially without Martin, beaten in points off turnovers, second chance points and giving up 33 free throws to just 16 of their own. “The endeavour was there without a question but we weren’t real smart tonight, we gave up 19 offensive boards which is typically not us,” Gleeson said. “We had some soft turnovers and silly fouls.” Skywalkers While Martin v Randle is the headline attraction, with both teams wanting to own the open floor the battle of athletes is also certain to be spectacular. While Prather and Jaron Johnson were expected to be a highlight reel pair this season, for Adelaide fans Nathan Sobey has been an early Christmas present.