Jervis tells Bullets to embrace hostile Perth opener
BASKETBALL: Bullets centre Tom Jervis says Brisbane should relish and not recoil from the hostile reception at Perth Arena tomorrow night.
The reigning champion Wildcats will raise another NBL title banner before the first round clash with the Bullets, who open their 2017-18 campaign with the toughest road trip in the competition.
Perth are gunning for their third-straight championship and their 32nd consecutive playoff appearance.
Jervis won two titles with the Wildcats before switching to the Bullets at the start of last season and knows only too well what awaits the visitors, who are the biggest long shots with bookies on the opening weekend of the NBL's 40th season.
"It's going to be a really good atmosphere. It's going to be hostile but that's just what it is when you walk into Perth, they have very passionate fans but we are just looking to get the job done," Jervis said.
"Around the league at the moment, all the crowds are picking up and everyone is into it. It (Perth) is a fantastic place to play.
"It will be a typical Perth team. They play hard and know their schemes and play good defence. They are going to get to the ring and especially in Perth they are always extremely hard to play against.
"Everyone knows what they bring to the table and you just have to try and match it.''
Jervis has recovered from a broken finger in the pre-season and has been declared fit to take on his old side with some heavy slam dunks at training at Carina yesterday indicating his right hand was ready for battle.
Jervis was sorely missed in the last three practice games when the Bullets' lack of height was brutally exposed, with fellow big man Mitch Young also out of action through illness.
"The finger is fantastic. I got the all-clear this week and I've been practising so I can't complain," he said.
"Having me and Youngey both being out hurt a lot in terms of rotation-wise, guys were playing a little bit out of position and playing extra minutes.
"Hopefully me coming back in and Youngey (coming back) very soon will help that out.''
Development player Tom Fullarton will travel to Perth in place of Young.
Jervis said four-straight losses to finish the pre-season was not a cause for concern for Brisbane.
"The pre-season is the pre-season. It's 0-0 now. The first game is where it all counts and we are in there to win it," he said.