Deleon set for crucial match-ups

IF the Wollongong Hawks weren't desperate before last Friday's home loss to Melbourne, they sure are now.

The Hawks (9-12) are fifth with seven games to play and need at least another four or five wins to qualify for the playoffs.

"From now on every game is do or die," guard Adris Deleon said before yesterday's training session.

"Every game - every quarter, every possession - is going to be a dogfight."

Victory over Melbourne would have lifted the Hawks into third spot, given that Sydney lost at home to New Zealand on Saturday.

Wollongong have a date with the white-hot Breakers (19-3) on Friday night in Auckland and have to back up on Sunday at home against Townsville.

After losing their first 10 games, the Crocodiles have surged into top-four contention with eight wins from 10.

"We understand how important every game is," Deleon said. "New Zealand are top of the table and they're playing great basketball right now. They had a great win against Sydney.

"We know we have to go out there and try to give it our best. We feel confident going against them.

"The three times we played them, it's come down to the last quarter or last possession of the game, so we feel confident going over there.

"Hopefully we can get the job done there and then come home and take care of business, because we haven't won at home for a while.

"Townsville, Melbourne and Sydney, they're the teams we're fighting against for those third and fourth spots. It's not going to be a blowout in any of those games. It'll probably come down to the last quarter and last possession, so that's what we have to prepare ourselves for, not just this week but the rest of the season."

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