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Pinder in strong form for Wildcats

Jackson Clark -

Keanu Pinder has continued his strong NBL form with another impressive showing in Perth Wildcats' win over SEM Phoenix on Saturday.

Pinder top-scored for the Wildcats with 23 points, to go along with 11 rebounds and two assists in just under 28 minutes of court time.

The Wildcats won 103-to-91 at John Cain Arena in Melbourne to remain in second position on the NBL ladder.

Perth coach John Rillie told media post-game that he was happy with his team's performance away from home.

"We came out with good purpose and energy. We had multiple contributors at a high level," Rillie said.

It was Pinder's most prolific game since his 25-point effort against Melbourne United in early October.

The 28-year-old is averaging 13.8 points and 6.6 rebounds per game so far this NBL season.

Pinder's mother, Tracy Smith, is an Indigenous woman born in Kalbarri, Western Australia, while his father is a Bahamian man, Kendal Pinder, who played professionally for the Perth Wildcats, winning championships in 1990 and 1991.

Keanu Pinder has been in strong form for the Perth Wildcats. (Image: Perth Wildcats)

The 210cm big man was born and raised in Derby, Western Australia and started his NBL career with the Adelaide 36ers where he averaged 4.8 points in 35 games in his first season.

He would go on to join the Cairns prior to the 2021/22 season, signing a two-year deal and becoming the only player in NBL history to win back-to-back Most Improved Player awards during his two seasons at the Taipans.

In April last year, the Nyul Nyul, Bunuba and Jabirr Jabirr man signed a two-year deal with the Wildcats.

"It feels great to be able to play in front of my family and the best fans in the country," Pinder said at the time.

"Wildcats have such a rich culture and tradition of winning championships and I feel like I can be a part of that.

"I think we will have the team to do it, I like the vision the club has or me and I think we're going to do well."

The Perth Wildcats' next game is a clash against the New Zealand Breakers on Sunday February 4 at RAC Arena in Perth.

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