Wildcats hopeful of quarantine easing

Justin Chadwick
·2-min read

The hotel hide-and-seek shenanigans were fun, but the Perth Wildcats are hopeful of getting an early release from hard quarantine.

The NBL defending champions were ordered to quarantine for two weeks in their hotel after arriving in Victoria on Wednesday, with the team only let out to practice and for games.

But with Western Australia recording no cases of COVID-19 during its five-day hard lockdown, Victoria has taken down its hard border restriction with the State.

The Wildcats now expect to be granted permission to travel to Bendigo on Saturday ahead of Sunday's match there against Melbourne United and to return to Melbourne on Monday.

If the strict quarantine conditions remain, the Wildcats would need to travel to Bendigo the day of the game and returned to Melbourne straight after the match.

Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson says his team will be hindered if the quarantine isn't eased.

""We've got four cars for 20 people and equipment. We want to travel the day before so the guys aren't crammed in the car," he said.

"Otherwise we have to do like what we did when we were kids - travel two hours, jump out of the car and play a game of basketball, which is not ideal."

Gleeson said his players had been doing their best to stay upbeat under trying conditions.

"Last night all the power went off in the hotel," Gleeson said.

"So the guys got together, and everyone had to open their door and play a game of hide and seek.

"I don't know of too many professional sporting teams playing a game of hide and seek in a hotel while the power was out.

"We've put a team joke every day to keep the mood light. It's pretty easy to get negative. We're trying to lighten things up."

Veteran Jesse Wagstaff copped plenty of heat on social media after missing a simple lay-up on the buzzer in last week's one-point loss to South East Melbourne Phoenix.

But after having a week to reflect on it, even he can see the lighter side.

"Yesterday at practice one of the guys was going for a lay-up and he's said, 'Don't do a Wagstaff'," Gleeson said.

"So he's even named his shot.

"Jesse's a pretty quiet achiever, but he's a fierce competitor, and you can bet you he's going to have a good couple of games coming up."