So embarrassing was the Sydney Kings’ second-half NBL capitulation against a rampant Perth Wildcats, it left their coach Joe Connelly wanting to throw up and accusing his team of quitting the fight.
The Kings kept pace with the Wildcats on Friday night – until the halftime break.
Speaking after watching his side lose the second half 52-29 en route to a 95-68 loss which keeps them rooted to the bottom of the ladder, Connelly expressed his disappointment at the insipid display.
“Third quarter, we totally buckled under their pressure. Sitting here I want to vomit, right here, right now,” he said.
“Same game, same team, same strategy, third quarter they bought the fight to us, we backed away from the fight.”
Connelly said the game plan he’d drawn up was not to blame – pointing to the success it had had in the first half, when the Kings skipped out to an eight-point lead.
He went on to criticise the attitude of the players, saying they let their heads drop when pressure is applied.
“We don’t have a point guard. We don’t have someone stepping up in adversity who wants that ball in their hands. That when the pressure is on they want to take that pressure on,” he said.
“It’s hurting us.
“We have guys that when the shots are going in, they are rebounding, they get assists, they dive on the floor.
“When the shots aren’t going in, they fall back and play a different style of basketball.
“It’s very frustrating for me as a coach.
“The game plan works. The same game plan in the first half was effective.
“We had an eight-point lead. They came out and started trapping us and we got skiddish with the ball.
“It’s been a pattern for us all season.
“We play well, reach some success. But when we reach some adversity, some guys step away from the challenge.”