18 Mar 2013

Wildcats throw fourth playoff place wide open

12:31 pm on 18 March 2013

The Perth Wildcats have put a dent in the Cairns Taipans' finals aspirations in the Australian basketball league, with a 70-53 home win over Cairns on Sunday night.

The Taipans led 14-4 early on, but the Wildcats hit back to lead by as much as 24, going on to record their 12th straight home win and reach 21 wins and six losses for the regular season.

Perth are now likely to face Wollongong Hawks in the semi-finals, while the minor premiers and back-to-back champion New Zealand Breakers could face any of four desperate teams, all of whom could yet finish in the fourth and last playoff position.

Cairns stay fourth for now but are in a congested race for that final finals spot, with the Taipans needing to win their one remaining game, at home against fellow playoffs contenders Melbourne on Friday, and hope the Townsville Crocodiles don't win both their remaining games.

With a number of permutations possible, the final playoffs place could go right down to the Tigers-Crocodiles game, the final fixture of the NBL season, on Sunday in Melbourne.

Sydney are the fourth side still in with a shot at the last finals spot.