Martin muscles up under boards

BASKETBALL

Hawks guard Rhys Martin showed he can match it with the big boys under the boards in last Friday's trouncing of New Zealand.

Martin couldn't shoot straight against the Breakers (1/9), but he grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds.

The 27-year-old is looking forward to some good-hearted boasting to teammates.

"I'll let Grubes (Dave Gruber) know, and his little argument will be that he has to box out the centre and it allows me to swoop in," Martin said.

Jokes aside, Wollongong have out-rebounded opponents in their past four games and peeled off four straight wins.

"It's a massive part of the game," Martin said.

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"Offensive rebounds give you extra possessions and takes the pressure off your offence. And if you come down the other end and limit them to one shot, it takes pressure off your defence."

Wollongong pulled down 15 offensive rebounds and outscored New Zealand 25-7 on second-chance points.

"Fifteen offensive rebounds was fantastic," coach Gordie McLeod said.

"That's something we haven't been able to do in a long, long time."

After losing three games to New Zealand by an average of 10.6 points, the Hawks turned the tables.

"They didn't seem as sharp as the last three times we played them. They seemed a little off," Martin said.

"Our team is playing really well together, defensively more so than offensively, which has to be pleasing for the coaching staff."

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