Perth Wildcats rule out third NBL import

Justin Chadwick
Perth NBL coach Trevor Gleeson is tiring of questions on whether the Wildcats need a third import

The Perth Wildcats have officially ruled out the prospect of recruiting a third import this NBL season despite the team's wobbly form.

The Wildcats' title credentials have been put in the spotlight after losing five of their past six games.

Bryce Cotton and Terrico White are the only two imports on Perth's roster, and there have been growing calls for coach Trevor Gleeson to recruit a third before the opportunity closes later this month.

Imports need to play a minimum of seven games to qualify for finals.

It means the Wildcats would have needed to recruit an import in time for their January 20 home clash with Melbourne United.

Gleeson had been questioned repeatedly in recent weeks on the import topic, and he lost his cool on Thursday when forced to answer again.

"Mate, just talk about the team here. I'm sick of all this talk about speculation," Gleeson said.

"We are playing with the guys we've got on the floor - done deal."

When asked if he could guarantee he wouldn't make any changes, Gleeson left the door ajar.

"Mate, I don't know if I'll be here next week," he said.

"It's professional sport - things can change. But we've got the team right now to play and we're playing them."

But during a meeting later in the day, the Wildcats decided to stick with the squad they have instead of recruiting an import.

The second-placed Wildcats (12-7) will aim to get back on the winners' list when they host last-placed Cairns on Friday night in Perth.

Five-straight away games while RAC Arena was being used for the Hopman Cup tested the Wildcats' mental and physical strength, and Gleeson was happy to be back at home.

The three-time title-winning coach believes his players aren't far away from rediscovering their mojo.

"We're playing three quarters of good basketball. It's really that one-quarter lapse of concentration that's really concerning," Gleeson said.

"We've got to do a better job. We're getting leads and we're giving the leads up pretty easily.

"It was a tough stretch those five away games. But we were in a position to win four of those five games.

"We really haven't put our foot on the neck and taken the game away from people."

Cairns (2-15), long out of finals contention, thrashed Brisbane 109-80 last week, before falling four points short on Monday against title favourites Sydney.