Wollongong forward Dave Gruber is adamant the Hawks have maintained a steely focus on starting the season in style tomorrow against New Zealand, despite the financial concerns surrounding their major sponsor and the loss of their star import.
Mining company Gujarat NRE has been unable to pay workers for almost three weeks and holds a current naming rights deal with the Hawks for the duration of this campaign, prompting uncertainty about the future of the NBL club.
Hawks officials confirmed last week that they were aware of the hardships being experienced by NRE but maintained it was "business as usual" at the club.
Compounding their issues prior to tip-off is the hurried exit of US import Durrell Summers, who left after asking for a significant financial upgrade to play for Wollongong this season.
Gruber said he was more concerned with matters on the hardwood.
"We are pretty focused with what is going on, on the court," he said.
"There has been some distractions off the court lately but that is out of our hands and as an athlete and a Hawks player we try and control what we can control.
"We hope for the best with everything and we have NRE's support in all their endeavours."
The Hawks will cross the ditch today in preparation for their round one clash against the defending champion Breakers with the hope of getting their campaign off to a winning start.
Despite going down in all four regular season matches against the Breakers last season, Gruber is confident Wollongong can match it with the title holders.
"In our favour we have matched up with them very well in the past and have had close contests both home and away so we will give it a fair crack," Gruber said.
"Obviously they are doing something right, they are the three-time champions, but we feel like we match-up pretty well and on our day we will take that against anybody."
The Breakers have brought in a pair of new imports into their rotation with centre Darnell Lazare joining from the Sydney Kings and guard Kerron Johnson arriving fresh out of Belmont University.
"It is going to be hard to tell how well their new guys are doing and how well they pick up their system, so if we can expose them a little bit that would be great," Gruber said.
"The whole league goes through it at this point, whoever can pick it up the quickest can get those first couple of wins and you are on the right foot for the rest of the year."
For the Hawks to begin the season on a high, they will need to address the rebounding problems which have plagued them in recent seasons.
"It is something that has been an issue for a few years and something we have worked on in pre-season," Gruber said.
"We have some big guys that shoot it extremely well, with Oscar Forman and Larry Davidson, and unfortunately sometimes when they are shooting that means they are a bit further away from the basket outside of rebounding position.
"We have taken the approach that we need to rebound as a pack, not just the bigs or the guards, it's everybody. Hopefully it will show this year."