News

Wildcats focus on better execution for Game 3

The Perth Wildcats aren’t relying on home court to win them Game 3 of the Swisse NBL Grand Final Series on Sunday with coach Trevor Gleeson urging his team to stick to the game plan better if they want to secure the club's seventh Championship. Gleeson felt the Wildcats were 'pretty flimsy' in sticking to the game plan in Game 2 at North Shore Events Centre with the Breakers winning 72-68 to force the deciding Game 3 back at Perth Arena on Sunday. While having the decider on their home floor is comforting, Gleeson is fully aware that it's much more important for the 'Cats to play the way they want to play to stop the Breakers celebrating on Perth Arena for a second time in the last four years. "It's going to take everything that we've learnt this year. That's our belief and trust with each other, and following through what we say we are going to do," Gleeson said. "I thought we were pretty flimsy on our game plan here, but you want Game 3 at home. That's what you play the regular season for to get that advantage and we get back to sleep in our own beds and get ready for Sunday." With the hectic travel schedule meaning both teams have every reason to be weary come Sunday, Gleeson believes it's even more important to execute correctly and that could be the biggest deciding factor in who wins the Championship. Corey Webster and Tom Abercrombie came up with the game-winning shots in Game 2 while it was Damian Martin's defensive plays that was most pivotal in winning Game 1 for Perth. Gleeson now is firmly focused on making sure the 'Cats execute correctly on Sunday. "The guys are professional athletes so you expect their physicality to stand out, but it's going to come down to execution, to the heart and we saw that in Game 2," Gleeson said. "New Zealand made a couple of big plays down the stretch and we had an opportunity, but we couldn’t get there. "It was a tough and rugged game, and we could have done a little bit better executing our plays. I think we got too much movement on the ball and not enough away from the ball, so we'll fix that up for the next game." Shawn Redhage has a unique history having started his NBL career for the Breakers and being discarded before seeing out his first season. He then landed in Perth where he has put together a remarkable career, but beating New Zealand in a Finals Series has so far alluded him. He was injured for the 2011 Semi Final Series and then was part of the losing Grand Finals to the Breakers the next two seasons. Winning Game 3 on Sunday would provide quite the exclamation point on Redhage's career if the Wildcats prevail making him a three-time Championship winner, and he can't wait for it to get underway at Perth Arena. "Both teams have got a lot of respect for each other and we are looking forward to the challenge. These moments and these games are fun to play in and we are disappointed right now, but we are looking forward to the challenge of Game 3," Redhage said. "You get used to the travel and you know how to get your body right. Winning cures a lot of aches and pains, and with the Grand Final on the line there's no excuses to come out there and play there with your heart and play with your best. "This is what you train for, this is why you get into basketball for these opportunities."
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