Perth coach Trevor Gleeson has credited team chemistry as the driving force behind the Wildcats' 2018-19 NBL championship triumph.
After crashing out in last season's playoffs, the Wildcats overcame a mid-season form slump and questions over their decision to overlook signing a third import player to defeat Melbourne United 3-1 in the best-of-five grand final series.
A 97-84 win in game four at Melbourne Arena on Sunday saw Perth win their ninth NBL title, American shooting guard Terrico White teaming up with 2017 grand final MVP Bryce Cotton to conquer the defending champions.
White claimed the grand final MVP award with averages of 21.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists over the four games while Cotton scored 28 points as the Wildcats closed out the series on the road.
Trevor Gleeson praised his team for ignoring external criticism to play their best basketball at the business end of the season.
"There was never any inside noise, it was more so 'hey guys, let's put this on the table right now that we are staying with two imports and we don't care what the consequences are'," Gleeson said after steering Perth to a fourth title in his six-year tenure.
Gleeson felt the on-court chemistry his squad displayed throughout the season made the decision to settle on two imports an easy one.
"I knew what Terrico could do and I didn't want another import to compete with Bryce to get his 15 shots," he said.
"Bryce is our centrepiece of the table and we needed support systems around that and we found out last year that we didn't have that."
"Terrico was a great support system and then he won games off his own back. To have two guys out there that can produce under pressure and deliver on the big stage was a blessing for us."
Australian Associated Press