Sixers sellout likely, but tickets still available

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Jerome Randle on the run against the Illawarra Hawks in Wollongong in October. Their rematch in Adelaide will probably sell out. But it hasn’t yet. Picture: Jason McCawley (Getty Images)

THE Adelaide 36ers are dusting off the “sold out” sign ahead of Thursday’s top-of-the-table clash with Illawarra, but good seats still are available, despite TV reports to the contrary.

Fox Sports commentator Dwayne Russell loudly and repeatedly told viewers of Sunday’s NBL match between the Sixers and Melbourne United that Thursday’s game at The Fortress in Beverley was sold out.

Adelaide 36ers chief executive Guy Hedderwick was moved to contact Sixers operations manager Joe Tertzakian, who was at the game, to ask Russell to desist.

It prompted a minor backtrack from the often excessively enthusiastic commentator while Hedderwick on Monday maintained seats still were available.

In first place despite Sunday’s 31-point belting from United, Adelaide hosts Illawarra with the Hawks now sharing second spot with Melbourne.

“It’s a very big game for us and we are confident it will be sold out,” Hedderwick said.

“It just isn’t at the moment, and we don’t want prospective fans making a decision not to come because they think they won’t be able to get in.

“We want the place sold out and we want as much support for the boys as possible.

“We’re hoping Dwayne’s words turn out to be prophetic.”

They just weren’t correct when he said them.

Illawarra surrendered sole possession of second place when it lost at home to Perth 87-95 on New Year’s Eve.

Adelaide’s grip on first also lightened when its eight-game winning streak was brought to an abrupt halt in Melbourne.

The Hawks opened the season inflicting a massive 122-88 wound on Adelaide’s psyche in Wollongong, then took a 2-0 season-series lead with an 85-74 win in Adelaide in November.

Backing up on Sunday in Auckland against New Zealand, Thursday’s match is looming as a “must win” for the 36ers.

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