December 27, 2006

Article at Chris on Authory

Wildcats v Slingers - December 27, 2006

The Perth Wildcats have ended their four-game home stretch perfectly with a 105-88 win over the Singapore Slingers at Challenge Stadium, Perth.

Perth’s fourth straight home win enhances their championship credentials and puts a dent in Singapore’s play-off hopes in their first NBL season.

Singapore stuck with Perth better than the previous three teams visiting Challenge Stadium, New Zealand, Wollongong and Sydney, but it wasn’t enough for them to score their first win over Perth or add to their one road win.

Singapore got off to a great start scoring the first three baskets of the game and held the lead all of the first-quarter.

They maintained the lead until the Wildcats caught fire midway in the second. The home side took an eight-point lead, but the visitors weren’t to be scared off and got it back to just three at the main break.

The third-quarter was another even one and it finished with the Wildcats leading by four.

It was appeared to a matter of time until the floodgates opened and it happened in the final quarter, with Perth outscoring Singapore 30-17.

The first half was dominated by two big men from each side. Ben Knight was hot early for the Slingers and had 10 points and six rebounds in the first half and Marquin Chandler went for 14.

Captain Paul Rogers again led the way for the Wildcats with 13 points and eight rebounds (finished with 15 and 14) and Shawn Redhage bettered his season average with 14 (to finish with 23).

It was another even performance from the Wildcats with Darren Brooks scoring 17, second-game recruit Damien Ryan 15 and Ben Hunt 13.

Chandler was the best for Singapore, along with Knight and Ben Melmeth (14 points, 10 rebounds).

The win takes the Wildcats to 15-6 for the season and 10-1 at home. They are just outside of a top-two spot, with one less win than the Bullets and one more, but two less played than the Tigers. Despite Sydney also winning, they remain two games clear of them.

The Wildcats now head to Melbourne to face the Dragons on Saturday.

The loss takes the Slingers to 6-12 on the season and two wins behind the eighth-placed Hawks. Any hope they have to make the play-offs could hinge on them securing three wins from a three-game home stretch starting on Friday against New Zealand.