Kings ready to brave Snakepit
BASKETBALL: The ladder-leading Sydney Kings will have to dig deep to maintain their winning streak when they face the Cairns Taipans this weekend - not once but twice.
The Kings, who have won five games on the trot after losing their opening game of the season, travel to the Snakepit on Saturday night to take on the resurgent Taipans, before the two teams head to Sydney on Monday for a rematch at Qudos Bank Arena.
The trip north will be a homecoming for Kings forward Jeromie Hill, who grew up in Cairns, but he said he was still focused on getting the win.
"Very excited to be playing Cairns, back in front of the family,” he told the Sydney Kings website.
"Grew up there, played all my junior basketball there. In fact, (Taipans) coach Aaron Fearne was my under-8s coach back when I was just learning to play.
"It's always good to go back to Cairns, but nevertheless we're still there to get a win.”
After losing their opening three games of the year - all on the road - the Taipans last weekend bounced back with wins over Melbourne United (at home) and Illawarra (away).
The two sides have already met once this season, the Kings recording a 92-78 win in round two on the back of 23 points from Jason Cadee.
But Sydney does not have a good record in Cairns, losing four times since its last win there in February 2014.
Reigning NBL MVP Kevin Lisch is expected to be fit for Sydney after sitting out last Sunday's win over the Brisbane Bullets.
In Saturday's other game, the Adelaide 36ers travel to Perth to take on the defending champion Wildcats, who are hopeful veteran Damian Martin will be available despite having a plate inserted in his fractured jaw last week.
The Wildcats will also be without playmaker Jarrod Kenny due to a groin injury, while Adelaide import Terrance Ferguson will be available after serving a one-match suspension.