Wildcats flying high - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wildcats flying high

By Tim Clarke 05/02/2005 05:44:56 AM Comments (0)

The influence of the "Zen Master" seemed to have rubbed off on the weary Perth Wildcats, as they brushed off the air miles to eventually down the Brisbane Bullets 119-106 in their NBL clash at Challenge Stadium.

After returning from their sojourn to Singapore, Perth's players were left in awe on Wednesday when legendary NBA coach Phil Jackson dropped into training to impart some of his wisdom.

Whatever the nine-time NBA champion said obviously worked, as an inspired Rosell Ellis (23 points, 12 rebounds) and Peter Crawford (19 points, 14 rebounds, 8 assists) led Perth to a much-needed victory.

The Bullets, who had come to Perth hoping to arrest an appalling record in the west, had ex-Wildcat Simon Black (19 points) in the mood, while evergreen Derek Rucker netted a game-high 27 points.

Still without talisman Ricky Grace after a double family bereavement, Perth started with Adrian Majstrovich in their first five, while last week's NBL Player of the Week Bryant Matthews started on the bench for Brisbane.

The immediate signs looked ominous for the home side, after old-boy Black drained a 20 foot jumper to open the scoring and Simon Kerle hit with his first three point attempt.

But after Ellis began to impose himself, the Wildcats went on a 14-0 run that belied their hectic recent schedule.

In an almost perfect quarter for Scott Fisher's men they seemingly scored at will, with the only negative the three personal fouls picked up by import Ontario Lett.

With Brisbane's Bobby Brannen matching Lett's foul count, every other statistic was clearly in Perth's favour, the Wildcats going to the first break an imposing 20 points ahead.

The pain refused to abate for Brisbane in term two, as Tony Ronaldson in particular continued to pound the scoreboard, while the dynamic Ellis dominated beneath both baskets.

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