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Sunday Drive: Blitz and Vice

BRYCE Cotton has wasted no time reminding NBL fans at the PreSeason Blitz in Darwin that he is "The Man" in this league and that his Perth Wildcats will be bouncing back in 2022-23 from the setback of last season missing the playoffs for the first time since Cal Bruton took the helm after the 1986 season.

Cotton had 36 points in 31 minutes, shooting at 57 per cent - 7-of-12 from 3-point territory - plus three rebounds, four assists and a steal as Perth saw off Cairns Taipans 98-80, winning all but the first quarter.

Luke Travers' 16 points came on 6-of-8 shooting, with seven boards, two assists and four steals.

Standout for the Taipans was Keanu Pinder who gathered his team-high 21 points on 8-of-9 shooting and in less than 20 minutes of court time.

Earlier, Sydney created a slice of history when assistant coach Fleur McIntyre took the Kings' reins for their Blitz opener against Tasmania.

Not the first female member of an NBL coaching staff, she was however the first to coach an actual NBL game, preseason or otherwise. But it didn't end well, with JackJumpers import Milton Doyle putting on a fourth-quarter clinic as Tassie ran up a 73-53 victory.

The JJs went 25-7 in the final period, Doyle with 13 points.

PERTH WILDCATS 98 (Cotton 36, Travers 16, Hayes-Brown, Zunic 9; Travers, Blanchfield 7 rebs; Cotton 4 assts; Norton injured) d CAIRNS TAIPANS 80 (Pinder 21, Kuol 14, McCall 12, Antonio 11; McCall 8 rebs; McCall 6 assts).

TASMANIA JACK JUMPERS 73 (McVeigh 16, Doyle 13, Kelly 9; Kenyon 9 rebs; Magette 5 assts) d SYDNEY KINGS 53 (Walton 12, Noi 9, Makoi, Simon 7; Noi 10 rebs; Walton 4 assts).

REMINDER: Episode 1 in the four-part documentary "SIDELINED: The Fight for Equality in Women's Basketball"  airs today on SBS Viceland at 4:45pm.

To know more, hit this link, but suffice to say it's "must see" TV if you care about women's sport in general, and women's basketball in particular.

Was Basketball Australia being blatantly racist regarding player hair restrictions, considering the rule it invoked was no longer sanctioned by FIBA? It made for an early flashpoint for the Deakin Melbourne Boomers.


Sep 18

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