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Webster reflects on Wildcats Monday night heroics

Josh Kempton

Perth Wildcats star Corey Webster was just as surprised as anyone at the team’s miracle comeback win on Monday night.

The Wildcats pulled off the great escape in beating Melbourne United 90-89 at RAC Arena, trailing the visitors by five points with nine seconds to go before Todd Blanchfield and Webster each nailed three-pointers.

“That was a great win for us, pretty amazing win at the end. That last minute or so was pretty crazy, everything had to go perfect for us and it did, so definitely will remember that one for a while,” Webster told Sports Breakfast.

“You do train those scenarios right at the end of the game, you know, when you’ve got free throws and you need to make them both, or you need to try and miss one and get a shot, or you’ve got an inbound play try and get the last shot or something like that.

“That’s the important thing about staying ready for the whole 40 minutes of a game, you never know what’s going to happen, so gratefully we were ready in that moment and we got it done.”

The recovery played out after Blanchfield was fouled on his made long bomb, rebounding his own missed free throw and kicking the ball out to Webster, who made the game winner from deep to send the Red Army into hysterics.

“I was just in the moment, I saw the rebound come down, saw Toddy grab it, and I kind of just backpedalled a little bit to behind the three point line, and as soon as he threw the ball to me, I just let it go,” Webster said.

“To be honest, I thought that I shot the ball and tied us up to put it into overtime, I wasn’t quite aware of where the score was at, and then after Shai [Ili] from Melbourne missed that last shot, and the team just surrounded me, jumped on me, and starting celebrating, that’s when I kinda realised, I was like ‘oh man, maybe we won the game’.

“That’s when the emotions kinda started to kick in, and I realised what had happened, definitely kind of a surreal little moment, but things like that can happen in sport.”

The 34 year old is in his first season with the club, having represented his native New Zealand Breakers in between stints in Serbia, Israel, Greece, China, Italy, and Egypt.

The union has been a long time coming, with Webster initially signing for the Wildcats in 2017 before reneging on his contract without playing a game.

“I’m really enjoying my time here, I feel like it’s a great club to play for,” he said.

“Obviously there’s a little bit of a transition stage playing for a new team with a new coach and with new players, a whole new system and everything, and that took a little bit of time, but I think now we’re more settled as a team, we all understand our roles on this team and what we need to do to get these wins.

“I think winning three in a row could be the turning point for our season if we stay consistent with that and tidy up a few things that we need to get better at still, at the defensive end and with the defensive rebounding, then we’ve got the offensive firepower to play with anyone in this league.”

The Wildcats’ next assignment comes at home against New Zealand on Friday night, with the game tipping off at 6:30 local time.

Webster will renew hostilities with his old club after dropping 26 points in their last meeting, following an antagonistic social media post from the Breakers about the three-time NBL champion’s defection that was later deleted.


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