The Wollongong Hawks are out to prove their resolve tomorrow night against NBL leaders, the New Zealand Breakers.
Curtailed by injuries and some tough luck, the Hawks' resounding 6-0 start to the season has begun to dwindle in recent weeks, but captain Oscar Forman believes the third-placed side is capable of recapturing its early form.
Wollongong are yet to play the Breakers during the regular season but fared well against the defending premiers in three pre-season trial matches.
"A win would show to the rest of the league and to our fans that we are serious this season and we do have a team that can go places," Forman said.
"We need to make sure that [we] bring what we brought against them in the pre-season and bring the intensity up. They are a team that, if you don't bring the intensity, they can just walk all over you.
"They are rightfully at the top of the table and that's where we want to be but we need to show that we deserve to be there."
Wollongong have lost four of their past five games but are set to be boosted by the imminent return of injured forward Tim Coenraad (foot), who has undertaken a more strenuous training regime this week in a bid to be fit.
Guard Tyson Demos made his comeback against the Melbourne Tigers on Monday night after sitting out the previous five games with a knee injury, while centre Larry Davidson (rib) is close to returning.
Forman, who played four seasons with the Breakers between 2006 and 2010, said the Hawks needed to improve their rebounding. In the past six games, Wollongong have been out-rebounded 244 to 166.