Off To A Roaring Start
The Perth Wildcats first home game of their championship defence went off with a bang at Perth Arena on Saturday.
The NBL’s most successful club unveiled its 2015/16 championship banner in front of 12,701 fans, before thrilling the Red Army with a nail-biting come-from-behind overtime win.
New Wildcat Jaron Johnson introduced himself to Perth with a stellar performance.
Despite being in foul trouble from halfway through the contest, Johnson nailed 10 of 11 shots for his 26 points – including a tough three-pointer with 2 seconds to go to send the game to an extra period and the crowd into hysteria.
Casey Prather was also dynamic with 23 points including some high-flying finishes, while captain Damian Martin ran the show with six points, eight rebounds and five assists.
The challenge doesn’t get any easier for the Wildcats this week, as they host archrivals the NZ Breakers at Perth Arena on Friday night.
Last time the Breakers visited the Arena, it was in a championship-decider with the Wildcats finally lifting the trophy against a team that has had their number in two recent Grand Final series.
In a match-up that always draws a big crowd and some classic Australia-New Zealand rivalry, both teams will be looking to secure their second wins if the 2016/17 campaigns.
The Breakers have a strong looking roster, comprised mostly of New Zealand talent, and will be feeling confident after knocking off pre-season title favourites Melbourne United at home on Friday.
The game also represents a massive milestone for the Wildcats, as club legend Shawn Redhage plays his 350th game for Perth.
After being cut by the NZ Breakers in 2005, Redhage has gone on to have one of the greatest careers in WA sporting history.
He’s been in three championship teams, won six club MVPs and even represented Australia at the Olympic Games.
Be there as Shawn Redhage becomes just the third Perth Wildcat to play 350 games for the club.
Don’t miss the Perth Wildcats clash against the New Zealand Breakers this Friday night at Perth Arena. Tickets are available now through Ticketek.
Tickets for the Perth Wildcats 2016/17 season home games at Perth Arena are also on sale. For more information or to buy now click here.