By: Daniel Ebert, Sports
The Perth Wildcats have claimed their 9th NBL Title after defeating Melbourne United 97-84 at Melbourne Arena. It was the first time this season the Wildcats defeated United in Melbourne and clinched the series in four games, 3-1. Bryce Cotton was the top scorer with 28 points, Nick Kay scored 12 points and 10 rebounds. Terrico White scored 20 points and had 8 rebounds to secure the Larry Sengstock Medal for his outstanding performance in the Grand Finals. The Wildcats defy history to seal the NBL Championship on the road, it is the first time the Wildcats have won a title away from Perth since 1990!
Wildcats Legends Damian Martin and Jesse Wagstaff became the first players in NBL history to win 5 NBL Championships with the one club. Wildcats Coach Trevor Gleeson also made history, becoming the first coach in NBL history to win four championships with one team
After announcing his retirement last month Greg Hire had his sights set on going out in style, he has now won his 4th Championship ring. The dream became reality for Hire on Sunday as the Perth Wildcats claimed their fourth title in six seasons.
Big Moment in the game for me was when Hire entered the game in the Second quarter and was starting to go United’s way he scored 5 points and 3 rebounds and got the Wildcats to a 53 – 45 lead at Half time. With 2.47 to go in the 3rd quarter, the Wildcats were up by 4 points when Terrico White was at the 3 point line with Barlow defending him and then fouled and scored a bigtime 3 pointer that deflated Melbourne United for the rest of the game.
Damian Martin proved why he is the best defensive player in the game putting heaps of pressure on Melbourne’s superstars Casper Ware and Chris Goulding just keeping them to 18 and 15 points respectively. Tom Jervis was great coming off the bench scoring 6 points and 8 rebounds but his intensity rebounding the ball was a big factor in the game.
The Perth Wildcats championship parade will take place at Forrest Place in the Perth City at 5.30pm WA time.