On paper the semi-final series opener between Perth and Cairns could have been settled by a coin flip, in practice the defending premiers always had it in the bank.
Perth’s 91-69 point blowout victory at the Cairns Convention Centre was a warning shot to the rest of the competition and has Cairns rattled ahead of game two on Monday night.
“We didn’t come up with any solutions on the floor, once they got that good start we couldn’t keep up, it’s not good enough for a playoff game,” Cairns Captain Cam Gliddon said.
The Taipans will need to better shut down Perth imports Bryce Cotton and Casey Prather, after the duo seemingly scored at will on Friday night.
Cotton finished up with 34 points as Cairns allowed the former NBA player to shoot at 57 per cent from the floor.
“I approach every game the same,” Cotton said.
“We all have our roles and everyone plays for the guy next to them, no one has any egos.”
Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson said the premiers have finally gelled with his mid-season signing at just the right time.
“Bryce gives us scoring with or without the ball and our guys are starting to realise that so they are getting to their spots,” Gleeson said.
Cairns are now in serious danger of being swept out of the playoffs in Perth, where the Wildcats have only lost four times all season and coach Aaron Fearne will preach discipline after foul trouble once again plagued his side’s momentum on Friday night.
“We’ll have to make some adjustments to our on-ball screens if we can do that we’ll have a chance and on the offensive end, we have to move the ball,” Fearne said.