Hungry Jack's NBL
R11 Preview: Townsville v Perth
Who: Townsville Crocodiles v Perth Wildcats When: 7.30pm (AEDT), Saturday 19 December Where: Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre Watch: Fox Sports (Live and in HD); Sky Sports NZ; NBL Live App Last time they met: Perth 85 (Beal 16, Knight 15, Prather 15) d Townsville 77 (Jett 13, Steindl 13), Round 5, Perth Arena
Buzzer beater from Jett to end the 2nd quarter #HardBall @PerthWildcats @TsvCrocs https://t.co/gafbT6ozby — NBL (@NBL) November 6, 2015THE STORY Townsville coach Shawn Dennis knows the Perth Wildcats pretty well, but no Wildcat knows ‘SD’ better than Damian Martin. “SD and I go back to my Gloucester days,” Martin said. “He was someone I enjoyed watching at the Falcons, and he came to Gloucester to award a prize our school had won in a Newcastle Falcons-Hunter Valley competition. I’ve got an old Gloucester Times article he signed for me.” Dennis was assistant coach at the West Sydney Razorbacks, where Martin started his NBL career, then spent four years as 2IC at the Wildcats, so it’s no surprise Damo is enjoying the way Townsville are playing this year. “It’s been great seeing how well he’s coaching and how well his team’s playing,” he said. “But it’s no surprise they're blue collar, hard-working, disciplined, high IQ players because that’s what their coach is.” What hasn’t been as enjoyable for Martin is watching the Crocs beat Perth twice, and then run them close a third time at Perth Arena, coming back from double-figure deficits in each game.
Swatted - Jawai style! #HardBal @CairnsTaipans @PerthWildcats https://t.co/A2bPodutm2 — NBL (@NBL) December 17, 2015Markel Starks’ penetration was proving a handful for Perth before his hamstring injury on Thursday, and Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson has a tough choice whether to use Martin’s prowess to cover the driving Jett or to disrupt Mitch Norton, whose leadership is crucial for the Crocs. At the other end the ‘Cats need Beal to shake his Townsville funk to take the pressure off his interior players, who Dennis’ men are sure to swarm.