The Perth Wildcats face the Cairns Taipans in Game One of its best-of-three Semi-Finals series in Cairns on Friday night.
The Wildcats are coming off one of the biggest weekend’s in franchise history – winning two must-win games to advance through to the post-season.
It will the first time the Wildcats visit Far North Queensland with a full team this season.
If the team’s battles so far this season are anything to go by, it’s going to be a tight series.
“We match up really well with them. We’ve played two overtime games and got those wins. It’s all in our belief. We know when the pressure’s on and crunch time comes, we trust in each other and we believe in each other,” said Trevor Gleeson.
“Nate Jawai is going to do well. We know through our experience what he does, but we’ll be ready for him and his team.”
Gleeson spoke a lot of how his team has grown and is primed at the right time of the season.
In one year the Wildcats have faced long term injuries to multiple players, import changes, as well as charges from the Game Review Panel – but found a way to become a playoff threat.
“You can see the growth in us. Our offense is getting better. Our defence is better and hard-nosed. That momentum is what you need coming into the playoffs,” he said.
“Those two games on the weekend were pressure cooked. We lose one and we’re out. Pressure is a funny thing. Sometimes it breaks teams but it brings the best out of us.
“We look forward to doing that again this weekend.”
Facing the Taipans this year, Bryce Cotton has been the Wildcats best scorer, averaging 24.3 per game, followed by Casey Prather who sits just under 17.
The Wildcats will be looking for its star import play-makers to put in a strong performance.
Captain Damian Martin leads the team in rebounds, assists and steals when facing the North Queenslanders.
Tip-off on Friday night is at 4.30pm WA time.
Tune into Fox Sports 503 or NBL TV to see if the Wildcats can return to Perth with a crucial one game advantage.
Tickets to the all-important second game at Perth Arena are available here.