Perth Wildcats players have been told to expect more fixture interruptions before returning to WA in February as they prepare to fly to Queensland for a clash against Cairns on Friday night.
The Wildcats’ match against Adelaide on Tuesday night was cancelled after a 36ers player tested positive to COVID-19. Perth’s match against Brisbane on New Year’s Day was also called off following positive tests at the Bullets.
The team will now fly to Cairns on Thursday and eventually settle in Tasmania while waiting for more information about their fixture.
Representatives from the Wildcats owners, Sports Entertainment Group, were meant to be in Adelaide to watch the team playing live for the first time. SEG’s Richard Simkiss said the squad was adapting to the challenges and it was clear all teams would experience more COVID disruptions.
“They’re handling things really well. There’s the reality that we were going to be on the road for a period of time,” Simkiss told thewest.com.au’s The Dribble Podcast.
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“Whilst it was disruptive to not have a game in Adelaide, they’re prepared for a period on the road and remaining completely flexible during this period. It’s inevitable there is going to be more and more disruption.
“Trying to stay calm and composed during that period – no doubt the team that can deal with that the best on the road over the next few months is going to be the ones to beat.”
Perth Lynx will also leave WA this week and open their season against Adelaide on Sunday. The Lynx will play 10 games interstate before returning in February, but are set to receive an additional home game at the Bendat Basketball Centre. The Lynx were initially scheduled to play only six matches in Perth but the WNBL are preparing move their February 17 game from Adelaide to WA.
“It looks like we’ve gained another home game,” Lynx General Manager Brent Dawkins told The Dribble.
“That’s a bonus for us. We can get our away games done in the next month and then get virtually seven weekends in a row of home basketball. If we can be around the mark when we get back, it’s a nice strong finish.”