Greg Hire will fight a striking charge.
Greg Hire will fight a striking charge. Paul Kane

Hire to fight charge to save season

BASKETBALL: Perth Wildcats vice-captain Greg Hire will put his NBL season on the line when he appeals a suspension set to keep him out of tonight's crucial clash with the Sydney Kings in Perth.

Hire was charged with intentionally striking Cairns' Tony Mitchell in Sunday's 85-77 loss.

The veteran could have accepted a one-match ban but decided to front an NBL tribunal this morning in an attempt to be free to play tonight.

If Hire is found guilty, he will also be suspended for Sunday's game against Melbourne United.

The Wildcats must win both matches to make sure they reach the playoffs.

Perth coach Trevor Gleeson said he was not happy with how the report had been handled.

"We're very disappointed with just how late the charge has come," he said.

"We played on Sunday and we only found out late on Wednesday.

"We're disappointed it wasn't earlier so we could have prepared a bit better.

"Secondly, we're disappointed with the charge. I thought there was nothing in it and we will strongly appeal and hopefully Greg will play on Friday night."