Perth Wildcats will find out early this week what penalties, if any, will be handed to the club and its players after a brawl erupted seconds after their 82-78 loss to Gold Coast Blaze at Challenge Stadium on Saturday night.
Players and officials from both teams will be scrutinised when NBL officials review video of the incident this morning.
A post-game scuffle between Perth forward Stephen Weigh and Blaze guards James Harvey and Chris Goulding quickly turned ugly. Weigh was incensed by his opponents’ victory celebrations.
If you were at the match tell us below what your saw in the melee.
Harvey and Goulding, both former Perth players, mocked Wildcats fans with a victory salute in the centre of the court and Weigh responded by shoving Harvey.
Perth coach Rob Beveridge took offence to the Blaze duo’s “little dance” but was satisfied with the post-game stand of young star Weigh, who was cited for his actions.
“You should always be humble when you win and gracious when you’re defeated,” Beveridge said.
“They chose to do their celebration and to me that was a real slap in the face to us as a team.
“There’s no way Stevie was a sore loser. I think it was a good way for a 22-year-old to react and the rest of his teammates backed him. I’m very pleased he wasn’t a lone ranger.”
Harvey and Goulding were jeered by the Perth crowd from the tip-off and left the arena to a torrent of verbal abuse with their arms raised in celebration.
Blaze guard Ayinde Ubaka was also involved in an unfriendly exchange with a group of fans sitting courtside after the game.
“I love the crowd interaction. It’s definitely one of the best crowds in the league,” Goulding said.
“I copped a fair bit of stick, and Harvs did as well, but it’s great.
“They get into everyone, not just me and Harvs, so I just told the boys to ignore it and get the win.”
US import Kevin Lisch served Perth well with 19 points and four of his teammates reached double figures, but the Cats let themselves down with a wellbelow average 34 per cent shooting ratio from the field.
Harvey starred with a gamehigh 20 points for the Blaze, including 15 as he ran riot in the first quarter, while Goulding chipped in with 14.
Anthony Petrie had 17 points, six rebounds and five blocks to be the dominant big man.
Perth were left somewhat disappointed after offensive focal point Luke Schenscher turned in just eight points at 40 per cent from the field to go with his game-high 14 rebounds.
“Four-of-10 for the game probably isn’t good enough,” Beveridge said.
“We’re trying to get him the ball a lot and there was some times when he missed some pretty easy shots.”
Despite the loss, Perth stay on top with a 7-5 record ahead of Saturday’s home clash with Townsville, but six of the eight teams have seven wins in the tightest competition in years.
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