You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Gleeson to weed out fading Wildcats in NBL

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 1/12/2016 Justin Chadwick

Perth Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson has vowed to "weed out" his underperforming stars after watching his team crash to their third straight NBL loss.

But in a rare dose of good news for the club, Wildcats forward Matt Knight has been cleared of serious injury despite being taken off on a stretcher on Thursday night in the 90-75 loss to Brisbane at Perth Arena.

Knight was left writhing in pain after injuring his left hip while crashing to the floor late in the third quarter.

But scans have cleared him of any structural damage, and he remains a slim chance to play against the 36ers on Saturday in Adelaide.

Perth's bid to qualify for their 31st straight playoffs is in grave danger following three home losses this season.

The defending champions are precariously placed with a 6-6 record, heading into a string of away games over the next month.

Wildcats players and coaches held a heart-to-heart meeting earlier this week in a bid to clear the air and get their season back on track.

But the players came out flat against Brisbane, and trailed 49-29 at halftime.

Gleeson didn't mince his words after the loss, declaring he would bench his stars if they didn't lift their act.

"We've got too many passengers," Gleeson said.

"And we've got to weed those guys out, and play the guys that are playing at the level required.

"We need our senior players to lead by example. Our backs are against the wall without a question.

"We've got to find a way to get it done and to support each other. There's not enough teamwork in that.

"We've got a hard battle again. We're going to find out some home truths very shortly."

When asked how he could weed out so many players without bringing anyone else in, Gleeson replied: "We'll just play the DPs (development players).

"Mason Bragg deserved to play a lot of minutes.

"He would have played even longer if he hadn't got a smack in the mouth at the end.

Import Jaron Johnson failed to fire against the Bullets, scoring just six points in 18 minutes of court time.

But he wasn't alone, with only Casey Prather (22 points) and Jameel McKay (12 points, nine rebounds) able to hold their heads up high.

Bullets coach Andrej Lemanis was proud of the way his team bounced back from last week's 18-point loss to Adelaide.

"Keeping them to 38 per cent from the field is a good defensive effort," Lemanis said.

"And on the back of that, them only having 12 offensive rebounds is a testament to the commitment we made on doing the effort things.

"And offensively, we got back to sharing the ball."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon