Perth faces horror schedule for chance at NBL crown
TEAMS in this season's NBL finals face incredible logistical challenges in order to claim the title.
Defending champion Perth will have to overcome the toughest schedule in Australian sport if it is to have a chance of winning a record seventh NBL crown.
After finishing fourth, the Wildcats will fly almost 3500km to north Queensland to take on the Cairns Taipans in game one of a three-game semi-final series starting on Friday night.
Both sides will then head to Perth for game two on Sunday, and a 1-1 result at that point would require another cross-country trek for a decider back in Cairns on Tuesday night.
The second semi between the in-form Adelaide 36ers and the New Zealand Breakers presents a similar scenario. The 36ers, who come into the finals on the back of a 10-game winning streak, head to Auckland for the opening game of that series on Thursday night - a journey of more than 3200km.
Game two will be played in Adelaide on Saturday night, and a trip back across the Tasman would be on the cards for a Monday night decider if needed.
The Breakers were the last team to beat the 36ers, notching a seven-point win in Adelaide in early January.
Coach Joey Wright said that result was largely irrelevant considering star players Mitch Creek and Jamar Wilson (pictured) were unavailable.
"That was a weird game for us. Creek was out with a shoulder, Wilson didn't play and we had just flown in from Cairns - we were just out of rhythm," Wright said.