Perthcoach Trevor Gleeson will start long-serving forward Shawn Redhage from the bench again in Wednesday’s duel with the Wollongong Hawks.
Redhage came off the bench in the Wildcats’ 81-80 overtime defeat of Melbourne on Sunday, logging 24 minutes and finishing with 12 points and four turnovers.
His replacement in the starting five, Jesse Wagstaff, had two points and three turnovers in 20 minutes.
Gleeson was also considering promoting guard Drake U’u after Damian Martin was weakened by a stomach virus.
Martin ended up starting and soldiered through 28 minutes. He hit just 2/10 shots but grabbed 10 rebounds and four steals.
“It’s just to change it up mid-season in case they were a bit stale. I don’t mind doing that through the course of the season,” Gleeson said of moving Redhage to the bench.
“We were nearly going to start Drake against Melbourne. We’ll probably keep the status quo against Wollongong. Jermaine [Beal] had a good game and Damo should be clear.
“Damo had gastro and was a game-time decision. Hopefully that clears up and doesn’t go through the rest of the team.”
Still missing from Perth’s line-up is versatile swingman Greg Hire.
“Greg won’t play until a bit later on. We can’t rush him back, especially with a calf injury,” Gleeson said.
“It’s pretty tricky and we just want to make sure it’s step by step and we’re building him up and not just throwing him out there to re-injure it, because we want him out there at the end of the season.”
Everything points to a Wildcats victory on Wednesday. They have beaten the Hawks by an average of 17.6 points in three meetings and need to keep winning to assure themselves of home-court advantage in the semi-finals, decided by the team achieving a certain number of wins.
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