Illawarra co-captain Sam Froling says his teammates will "find out a lot about ourselves" as the Hawks desperately search for answers and snap their rising losing streak.
Pressure continues to mount on head coach Jacob Jackomas after Illawarra's campaign record slumped to 2-7 with a 81-71 defeat against an undermanned Taipans in Cairns on Saturday night. It was the Hawks' third successive defeat, and their 18th loss in their last 19 road games.
The visitors had led by four at quarter-time - and then five points at halftime - before another late Hawks capitulation saw Cairns secure victory.
Buk Kuol led the way for the Taipans with 19 points and five rebounds, while Tahjere McCall (16 points, six boards) and Sam Waardenburg (15 points) also impressed. For the Hawks, Froling managed a double-double (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Gary Clark accumulated 19 points.
In Saturday night's post-match press conference, Froling admitted that the frustration was continuing to build.
"We obviously need to turn the defence and physicality up a little. And we got stuck a little bit," he said.
"The ball gets stuck in guy's hands because we can't move that ball. It becomes hard to score, it becomes about one guy going for it. Sometimes it comes off because we've got good basketball players, but sometimes it doesn't.
"It's hard, it sucks - especially after a tough year like last year. Right now, it's a big test of character for everyone. I guess we'll find out a lot about ourselves through this process.
"We're not playing terribly individually, guys are playing some pretty good basketball. But it's about working it out as a group and figuring out how to do it."
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