Greg Hire of the Perth Wildcats gets a pass away.
Greg Hire of the Perth Wildcats gets a pass away. Chris Hyde

Depleted Wildcats say they can thrive in adversity

BASKETBALL: Perth Wildcats vice-captain Greg Hire says the defending NBL champions can cover for the loss of point guards Damian Martin, Jarrod Kenny and Andre Ingram when they take on the Illawarra Hawks in Wollongong tomorrow night.

American Ingram was allowed to leave this week, with coach Trevor Gleeson citing mental health issues behind his sudden exit. Martin is nursing a fractured jaw, while Kenny has a groin injury.

Hire said the likes of Jackson Hussey, a local guard the Wildcats confirmed as a signing following Ingram's departure, and Corban Wroe could step up.

"Damo (Martin) is a guy that's really irreplaceable,” Hire said.

"But it's an opportunity for a guy like Corban Wroe to show that he can definitely be a player in the NBL and there's no doubt in my mind he is.

"We all might have to switch around but we're confident we can do that.

"I have been playing basketball a long time and sometimes with these challenges and adversity you really thrive.

"It's one of those times if you get a win when you're really wounded, you really appreciate it.”

Hire said coach Rob Beveridge would have the Hawks fired up for tomorrow night's game and are a better team than their 1-4 record would suggest.

"I don't think they're playing Bevo-style basketball at the moment and they are obviously going to try and get back to that,” Hire said.

"That's high-tempo basketball that's really disruptive on the defensive end.

"Bevo will have them fired up.

"At home they are a different beast. They're really tough if they hit their first three - they get rolling and a couple of times they have overpowered us and got 20-30 points in the first quarter.

"For us we really need to throw the first punch.”