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Gallant Wildcats fall in Game One thriller

Trevor Gleeson has praised the way his team faced adversity, despite falling in a Grand Final Game One thriller to Melbourne United at RAC Arena.

The Wildcats lost 73-70, putting in a gutsy performance despite losing Clint Steindl (groin) in the first half and Luke Travers (calf) before the game.

“We played with a lot of heart, passion, everything the Wildcats are, without a question,” he said.

“It came down to, we couldn’t get the ball, it seemed like every loose ball they would get, and that, in the playoffs, is big.

“We were tough; it was a physical game. I can’t fault our guys effort. There was a lot of heart but it comes down the possession game.”

Gleeson pointed out his teams poor turnover count as another key factor in the loss.

Todd Blanchfield was the Wildcats best with his best home game, knocking down five threes for his 27 points in his first NBL Grand Final appearance.

The game-high scorer was quick to praise the efforts of his younger teammates.

“I thought Wani and Sherv out there tonight (Were great), especially Wani, he came out there and brought that energy,” said Blanchfield.

“I spoke to him before the game, I said every offensive rebound is yours…. Sherv cleaned the glass, had some great looks that didn’t fall.

“We have the next man up mentality and the best thing about this is we have a quick turnaround.”

Game Two of the best-of-five series is on Sunday at RAC Arena.

It will be the Wildcats final home game of the 2021 campaign regardless of the result.

Tickets available here.

Perth Wildcats 70 (Blanchfield 27, White 10, Mooney 8)

Melbourne United 73 (Goulding 23, Landale 17, Lual-Acuil 10)

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