Bullet Bruton eyes more Boondall glory

Bullets assistant coach CJ Bruton is hoping to roll back the years and savour success with Brisbane.
Bullets assistant coach CJ Bruton is hoping to roll back the years and savour success with Brisbane.

The Bullets, the Brutons and Boondall will add another chapter to their relationship when a third generation of the basketball family is implicated in unique circumstances next Saturday.

Having snuck into the NBL's top-four with a tight win in their last regular-season game, the Bullets will face minor premiers Perth in a three-game semi-final series from next Thursday.

Game two will be at Brisbane's second, bigger venue at Boondall's Brisbane Entertainment Centre, where the club hope to sell all 8000 tickets once they go on sale to the general public on Thursday.

Bruton was the star point guard when the Bullets won their most-recent NBL title in the same venue in 2007, while his father Cal helped the Brisbane side to their first championship in 1985.

A messy split saw Cal land in Perth, where he eventually helped the club to their first NBL title in 1990 against none other than Brisbane.

Now assistant coach at the Bullets, CJ's will be one of the many families impacted by the Saturday afternoon timeslot, when he would usually be coaching his son's club side.

He said it was an unfortunate but unavoidable scenario due to broadcasting requirements and hopes the venue's special history makes up for the double booking.

"I coach my son's team and it doesn't pan out for them, but it was the best option," he said.

"But there's definitely fond memories for me; it's iconic.

"The statue of (former Brisbane great) Leroy Loggins still stands there - basketball in Brisbane boomed in that building.

"There's a lot of good links there, a lot of synergy, but it's about the now, not the past and going forward I think we have a great shot."

The Wildcats surged at the back end of the season to top the standings, but will enter with a 2-2 record against the Bullets.

Bruton is confident they can topple the Wildcats, who will lean on the league's top scorer Bryce Cotton in offence.

"If we play you (Perth) the best way (we can) is in a best of three series, I'm looking forward to it," he said.

Australian Associated Press