Hoopla: it's last chance for Hawks

BASKETBALL

The Wollongong Hawks' season hinges on Friday's road duel with Townsville.

Despite losing at home to Cairns last Saturday, the Hawks kept hold of fifth spot with an 11-14 record.

Sydney (11-13) lost to Melbourne but remain ahead of Wollongong in fourth, while Cairns (11-15) are one place behind in sixth.

Cairns face a tough challenge with Friday's home game against Melbourne. Sydney are away to New Zealand on Thursday before flying home to host Adelaide on Sunday.

"Hopefully those top-three teams [Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne] keep winning and we win our last three games, and hopefully Sydney and Cairns drop one or two," Wollongong captain Oscar Forman said.

"That game against Sydney on the last weekend is going to be crucial, but even more vital is this week's game against Townsville.

"If we win that game, we can look forward to that last weekend. Yes it's a tough double to play Sydney at home and then Perth away less than 48 hours later, but Sydney have two tough doubles left.

"It's hard to predict what's going to happen in these final two rounds."

The Hawks had won five straight before losing to the Taipans.

On a positive note, import Kevin Tiggs appears certain to return after missing three games with a knee injury.

"You're trying to win every game and we were on a streak of five and that was great, but it was always going to be tough to go through with nine in a row," Forman said.

"We understand that we have to win out from here, but obviously we know that's not going to be easy.

"We might've had one up our sleeves to drop, but the reality is that it now means getting one in Perth in the last game of the season if we want to finish with a 14-14 record.

"We get Kevin back and we become a stronger team, and we'll try and continue the good brand of basketball we were playing."

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