Basketball: Perth Redbacks through to final

Basketball: Perth Redbacks through to final

THE Perth Redbacks are through to the Men’s SBL Grand Final.

It will be their first Grand Final since 1999, having defeated the minor premier Willetton Tigers in Game 2 of the semi-finals at Belmont Oasis on Friday night.

Willetton came out an inspired outfit opening a 15-2 lead after the first three and-a-half minutes with eight of those points courtesy of Jay Bowie.

But Perth did well to reduce its deficit to eight points by the end of the first quarter and then it was time for Lee Roberts to take over in the second quarter.

He scored 15 points in less than six minutes of the quarter and then when Ben Smith and Kyle Bowen knocked down triples, the Redbacks were in front for the first time in the game.

With the Redbacks’ strength inside from Lee Roberts, Michael Vigor, Shawn Redhage and even Bowen, and with Nelson coming up huge showing why he has a future at the next level, the home team got the job done.

The Redbacks beat the Tigers 101-92 to book a spot in next Saturday night’s Grand Final at Bendat Basketball Centre.

They’ll take on the Joondalup City Wolves, who beat the Geraldton Buccaneers.

Redbacks coach Nik Lackovic was there in 1997 as a player for his club’s last championship triumph and he couldn’t help but be blown away by the happiness seen at a jam-packed Belmont Oasis on Friday night.

“We were playing a ridiculously tough, talented well-prepared team and then to see everybody here and see what it meant to everyone from our life members, previous players and coaches, the families and supporters makes you happy to know you can put a smile on their faces,” Lackovic said.