Martin's defence an inspiration to Wildcats

IN AWE: Casey Prather was inspired by Damian Martin's defensive play in the Wildcats' win over Illawarra.
IN AWE: Casey Prather was inspired by Damian Martin's defensive play in the Wildcats' win over Illawarra. RICHARD WAINWRIGHT

BASKETBALL: Casey Prather has sung the praises of Damian Martin after the Perth Wildcats' skipper's defensive display in the 89-77 win over Illawarra in the first game of the NBL grand final series on Sunday.

Prather and Bryce Cotton earned many of the plaudits for the success at Perth Arena but American import Prather said Martin deserved more credit for some crucial plays, including a spectacular block of a pass on a Nicholas Kay fast break.

"That was game-changing," Prather said yesterday.

"I stopped because I thought it was going to be a dunk or two points.

"That just shows you the heart of Damo. When you see a leader do that, it makes everyone want to follow.

"I was just watching the film of Damo doing a little bit of the dirty work. I was just amazed.

"Damo sets the tone for the other guys. So you saw Matty Knight dive on the floor (after that), and Jesse Wagstaff diving on the floor.

"It just makes me want to do more, and the other guys feel the same way."

Prather, who scored 22 points on Sunday, said he was at full throttle and was hoping for another big game tomorrow in Wollongong after overcoming a series of injuries earlier in the Wildcats' campaign.

"I had something at the bottom of my foot, kind of like a bone bruising," he said.

"And I had an achilles issue on the same foot. And I rolled my ankle. So it was just all bad."

News Corp Australia

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