High-flying Adelaide primed for tough test

BASKETBALL

Adelaide coach Joey Wright predicts a down-to-the-wire thriller against Wollongong on Sunday.

Anyone looking at the ladder could reasonably assume the 36ers should have the Hawks' measure.

The Sixers are second with 13 wins from 19 games, a complete opposite of the Hawks' 6-13 record.

They can also boast a slight psychological edge after they beat the Hawks twice in Adelaide this season. But Wright has been around the NBL long enough to know the Hawks can never be taken for granted, regardless of win-loss records.

"They're always tough," he said.

"Maybe once or twice over 10 years I've had a large double figure margin of victory, but I've almost never been in that gym when it hasn't been a tough game. It always seems like a one or two-point game and I expect the same thing.

"They're going to play hard under [coach] Gordie [McLeod] no matter what, so I'm expecting a tough game."

The Sixers will play their usual full-court game and try to force the Hawks into errors.

"We'll be working on some presses this week to keep it up-tempo. We don't want to play those guys in a half-court game," he said.

"If it's a half-court game, we don't struggle with it but we prefer to play up-tempo.

"It has nothing to do with us being able to play half-court versus full-court but we think our bench is a little deeper than most teams. It's not going to happen every game but we want to play our 10 guys against everybody else's eight guys.

"That gives us a benefit coming down the stretch when fatigue might set in."

Last week the Sixers held on for an 89-87 home win over Cairns after import Gary Ervin scored with four seconds remaining.

The 36ers will be without injured forward BJ Anthony (ankle) on Sunday, while Wright said guard Jason Cadee (finger) was "questionable".

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