Perth Wildcats smacked by Adelaide 36ers in annual pink game at RAC Arena

Perth Wildcats have added another unwanted black mark to a 2022 they’d like to forget after the Adelaide 36ers produced their greatest ever winning margin at RAC Arena during a 96-82 victory.

Having ended their finals streak, lost five games in a row for the first time since 2005 and suffered a 31-point thumping in Tasmania, the Wildcats hoped they’d got back on track following two consecutive wins.

But the 36ers dominated and led by 19 points during the final quarter as they threatened to set a new record for the largest win by any visiting team to RAC Arena.

The Wildcats entered the game hoping to jump into fourth spot on the ladder after winning their last two games but struggled to find answers to the visitors’ scoring power.

The 36ers waltzed through Perth’s defence in the first quarter, surging to an 11-point lead.

All of Adelaide’s starters had an impact on the scoreboard, while Corey Webster was the only Wildcat to make more than one basket.

The 36ers ran amok during the second quarter and had 50 points on the board with more than two minutes remaining in the half.

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Brady Manek in action. Credit: James Worsfold/Getty Images

Antonius Cleveland was doing a brilliant job at both ends of the court. He had eight points at half-time but was also locking down on Bryce Cotton and the three-time NBL MVP had produced just two points for the Wildcats.

Wildcats coach John Rillie turned to Development Player Michael Harris in the hope of providing a spark.

But Robert Franks dominated, scoring 14 points for the half, Anthony Drmic had 11 and Daniel Johnson had 10.

The Wildcats went on a third quarter blitz that dragged the deficit back to only four points. Cotton scored eight points in the blink of an eye and Perth looked threatening.

sport, perth wildcats, basketball, nbl, perth wildcats smacked by adelaide 36ers in annual pink game at rac arena

Corey Webster started well for Perth. Credit: James Worsfold/Getty Images

Then the 36ers took over again and by three-quarter time, the margin had ballooned to 15 points.

Perth never threatened again and have now lost four of their seven games at home this season.

Franks finished with 21 points, Johnson scored 17, Cleveland produced 16 and Drmic had 14.

Cotton top scored for the home team with 17 points.

sport, perth wildcats, basketball, nbl, perth wildcats smacked by adelaide 36ers in annual pink game at rac arena

Bryce Cotton just kept fighting to get free. Credit: James Worsfold/Getty Images

The result took Perth’s pink game record to 3-3 as they played in front of 10,329 fans, including former coach Trevor Gleeson’s wife, and breast cancer survivor, Dawn.

Perth have now slid back to 5-6 and drop to seventh. They are again amongst a pack of teams trying to stay in touch with the competition leaders.

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