Perth Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson has urged the referees to be on the lookout for some “borderline dirty” tactics from Sydney in game two of the NBL grand-final series.
Kings star Xavier Cooks irked Gleeson earlier this week when he declared Sydney needed to put Wildcats star Bryce Cotton on the deck a couple of times and tire him out.
Gleeson said it was now up to the referees to deal with the situation when the teams lock horns at RAC Arena on Friday night.
“I thought it was borderline dirty,” Gleeson said of Cooks’ comments.
“If it’s intentional that they’re trying to hurt one of our players, then they [the referees] have got to have a response for that.
“It’s been public knowledge. [The Kings] have come out and said they’re going to put one of our players on the deck.
“So if they’re doing it, it’s borderline dirty and intentional, so the referees have got to make a call.”
Gleeson says his players won’t be flustered by the comments and he’s backing them to maintain their composure even if things get heated.
Perth lead the best-of-five series 1-0 after posting an upset 88-86 win in Sydney last week.
The Wildcats were given a scare on Wednesday when they found out one of the passengers on their flight back to Perth on Monday had tested positive to the coronavirus.
No Wildcats players have fallen ill and they’ve been assured that the risk was minimal given they were seated away from the infected person on the plane.
The scare came just weeks after the Wildcats were forced to cut short a training session after a small fire broke out at their training base at the Bendat Basketball Centre.
Gleeson praised his team’s ability to maintain their focus on the job at hand.
The pressure is now on the Kings to level the series and the spotlight will be firmly on star guard Casper Ware after his game-one flop.
Ware made just one of his 14 shots from the field and he missed what would have been the game-winning basket.
“Casper’s a great player. He’s proven (himself) in this league for a long time,” Gleeson said.
“We know Casper’s going to be aggressive, as he always is.”