Wollongong coach Gordie McLeod is almost certain to retain Rhys Martin as his first-choice point guard for this week's away game against the Cairns Taipans.
Despite recruiting import guards Lance Hurdle and Adris Deleon in the off-season, McLeod opted for Martin as his starting playmaker in Friday's 79-76 first-round win over Sydney.
Martin was restricted by fouls, yet he still played 22 minutes, finishing with four points, two assists and two turnovers.
Fellow point guard Deleon played 29 minutes off the bench and racked up 12 points, two steals, three assists and three turnovers, while shooting guard Hurdle finished with 10 points, two steals and two turnovers in 24 minutes.
Given that Martin has been with the club for five years, McLeod is likely to keep him in a starting role until he is comfortable Deleon knows the offensive sets inside and out.
"The time it took to get Adris caused us a few headaches, and he just hasn't had much practice time with us," McLeod said.
"We want to run, but we are a team of systems and guys need to be switched onto what we're doing, and that's going to take some time.
"It's great to get a win and get the season off the right way, but we've got a lot of work in front of us.
"The challenge for us is that we've got three new guys in our group [including Aryun MacMillan] that we have to get up to speed. That's taking time and we're not really able to move things forward, and that's always going to be the process. The guys are working hard on that . . . and it's great to start with a win."
The Hawks started strongly against the Kings, building a 10-point lead in the first quarter.
But Sydney chipped away and managed to be up 43-40 at half-time.
Wollongong gradually regained control and led by 12 with just under six minutes to play, only to watch the Kings almost steal victory in the final seconds.
"It's the first game, but we saw at the pre-season tournament the evenness of all the teams and the closeness of the games, so this year's going to be no different to others in how tough it is to get wins," McLeod said.
"The Kings did a great job disrupting us and getting us out of the fluency of our normal game.
"We spoke at half-time about having to find ways to disrupt them and change things at the defensive end of the floor, and the guys did that. Our defence and rebounding picked up.
"It's good to win a close one and it's great to win our first one at home in front of such a great crowd, but the Kings made us fight for every last little bit."
The Hawks were without key bench players Tyson Demos (injured knee) and Tim Coenraad (foot) against Sydney.