The West

Crocs add bite for Cats clash
Larry Abney. Pic: Getty Images

UPDATE: Townsville are still awaiting clear-ances for new imports Gary Ervin and Larry Abney as they prepare to take on the red-hot Perth Wildcats on Sunday.

The Crocs shocked their NBL rivals when they released American duo Curtis Withers and Jason Forte on the eve of the season and were comfortably beaten by local rivals Cairns in round one.

They moved quickly to sign replacements and found them in 2011 league MVP winner Ervin and forward Abney, who starred during four seasons in the NBL with Townsville and Cairns from 2005-09.

The pair arrived in Australia on Sunday and have started training with their new teammates.

Should he be cleared in time, Ervin's showdown with reigning league MVP Kevin Lisch will go a long way to deciding the contest.

Lisch is in top form after scoring 20 points in the Wildcats' big win over New Zealand last week and has fond memories of Townsville, having scored a long-range basket to beat the Crocs on the buzzer in just his second NBL game as a rookie three years ago.

But Lisch knows he will have to be on his guard against the lightning-fast Ervin, a tough New Yorker who averaged 20.1 points and 4.5 assists in 27 games during his last NBL stint.

"I just remember he's extremely quick," Lisch said.

"He's pretty good off the on-ball and a pretty good passer, so it will be a good test for us guards."

Wildcats big man Matt Knight was today confirmed as the NBL Player of the Week.

Knight put on a dominant showing in the Wildcats' win over New Zealand, registering 20 points and nine rebounds in one of his best games for the WA side.

Knight has been hampered by a series of serious injuries since joining the Wildcats two years ago but has recovered from off-season shoulder surgery and looks set for a big season.

"When he's healthy he's by far the best big man in the league," Lisch said. "He was scoring inside and outside (against New Zealand) and banging down low. It's great to have him back."

Wildcats co-captain Brad Robbins trained away from the main group yesterday and is unlikely to return from a wrist injury this week.

The West Australian

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