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Gaze's Kings brace for NBL title test

AAP logoAAP 15/11/2016 Matt Encarnacion

The title credentials of the NBL-leading Sydney Kings go on the line when they face second-placed Perth in a highly anticipated two-game series this weekend.

The Kings on Thursday head to Perth, where they have lost their past eight matches against the Wildcats, before the teams meet again in Sydney two days later.

Kings coach Andrew Gaze blamed the club's recent string of losses in Western Australia to an unfortunate injury run, but looked forward to the challenge ahead of this year's squad.

"The circumstances have changed. This is a lot different team that's been over there the last couple of years," Gaze said on Tuesday.

"It's a hostile environment, they have unbelievable fan support. I'm really looking forward to it.

"I've been over there as a commentator and just been in awe of the way they present their games and the way the fans engage in the games and their record at home speaks for itself."

While the season is only six weeks old, Gaze is adamant the road to a championship for the Kings includes challenges in Perth.

Their last-start overtime defeat to New Zealand Breakers was their first loss in five games at Perth Arena this season.

"A lot of the credit goes to the environment they create. It's a tough environment and they've been in the playoffs the last seven-and-a-half million years," Gaze said.

"If you're going to win a title, or you're going to make the playoffs, rest assured you're going to have to go through Perth.

"It's an interesting weekend. We're away, home so a lot of travel for us over the next couple of days but hopefully we can turn around that record that the Sydney Kings have had in Perth."

Gaze pinpointed rebounding as the key to topping the Wildcats.

"It's their strength and unfortunately it's been an area that we haven't been great at throughout the course of the season," he said.

"We've had flashes of it, we haven't been great at it. It's something that we're paying particular attention on with our preparation."

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