Hawks officials rapt with crowd spike

BASKETBALL

Hawks officials breathed a sigh of relief after the biggest crowd of the season turned up for last Friday's 91-89 home win over Adelaide.

Spectator numbers dropped below 2000 earlier last month but the clash with the 36ers drew 3123 people - the first time all season that Wollongong surpassed the 3000 mark.

The Hawks are hoping for a similar turnout for this Saturday's must-win game against Cairns.

Wollongong guard Rhys Martin spoke straight from the heart when he was asked what thousands of cheering fans meant to the team.

"I was feeling a little bit flat before the game. Once the ball went up and the crowd starts making noise, it gives you a good feeling inside," Martin said.

"It gets you pumped for the game and gets the adrenalin going. It really helps the guys when you get tired at the end of the game.

"That crowd noise goes a long way. People shouldn't underestimate it. It's a great feeling. A win like that, we do that for the fans.

"Once you get to this level in sport, it's no longer just sport, it's entertainment, and we want to entertain the people of Wollongong."

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