Three successive losses have all but buried their finals prospects, but the Wollongong Hawks aren't about to wave the white flag.
Seventh-placed Wollongong fell to 6-12 with Sunday night's 86-78 home loss to Melbourne and need to win at least seven of their final 10 games to have any chance of snatching their third top-four finish in five years.
The Hawks will try to bounce back in Friday's road clash with last-placed Townsville (4-13).
"We need to stay positive and we need to stay aggressive," Hawks coach Gordie McLeod said.
"We're playing all the teams tough. You look at it and we're not getting a win, but we're right there, and it's just some small areas we need to improve on, especially with defence and rebounding. If we can organise those things it'll help our offence and we'll get running."
The Hawks led by eight early in the second quarter against Melbourne before trailing 47-40 at half-time.
They got their noses in front by a point at the end of the third period but couldn't stay with the Tigers down the stretch.
"We gave ourselves a chance but we didn't come up with the plays at the right time, and they were more defensive plays," McLeod said.
"We just can't play consistently enough for the four quarters to get it done.
"We're seeing a lot of different ways to shut us down so we have to move the thing forward. We obviously need to add some things to what we're doing, both offensively and defensively."