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Ball security, rebounding costs Wildcats at home

Turnovers and rebounding have been blamed for the Perth Wildcats 72-74 semi-final loss to the Illawarra Hawks at RAC Arena.

Strengths of the Wildcats for the majority of the season, Trevor Gleeson said it was a disappointing way to lose.

“It’s pretty tough when you’re up for 36 minutes, and you can’t put the game away,” he said.

“If you look at the stats, we had nine turnovers in the second half, so you turn the ball over, it kills you. That’s the second time now against the Hawks that we’ve been loose with the ball. Our passing is not up to scratch…. We’re making basic errors of ball safety.

“(Rebounding) has been a staple for us, and it’s hard to get a rebound if you don’t go for it. It’s something we have to address. It’s a possession game in Finals.”

Todd Blanchfield was the Wildcats best on Thursday with 24 points, while John Mooney was rock solid with 13 points and 15 rebounds.

Luke Travers also contributed 12 points and six rebounds.

The Wildcats will now head to Illawarra, with a win required to send the series to a deciding third game.

“It’s simple now, you win or you’re out. If we aren’t desperate, we don’t deserve to go any further.”

Tip-off on Saturday is at 3.30pm at Wollongong’s WIN Entertainment Centre.

Watch it live on ESPN and VICELAND.

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