Coach Rob Beveridge says the Hawks need to move on quickly from their 0-2 start to the NBL season.The NBL has assured the Illawarra Hawks that it will address the conditions in which teams travel interstate.
The Hawks are 0-2 after arguably the toughest possible schedule to start the new season.
They hosted the reigning champions, Melbourne United, on Friday before having to fly to Perth to face the Wildcats on Sunday.
Making matters worse was that they lost to Melbourne by one point after an extraordinary draining four periods of overtime.
Making matters even worse was the Hawks players travelled to Perth in economy class and none of them were given the benefit of the extra leg room that exit rows provide.
The Hawks are again away on Sunday to Cairns and coach Rob Beveridge says his side will need every day of the week between games to prepare.
“We’ll get home about 8.30 tomorrow night (Monday), with the three-hour time difference,” he said.
“Once we hit Sydney, we have another couple of hours before we get home. We have to jump on a bus to get there.
“Tuesday will be a complete mental day for these guys – they need to have the day off.
“Then travel Saturday up to Cairns. It’s another big trip up there.”
Beveridge said he remembered thinking the schedule was ridiculous when it was released, with the Wildcats having to back up from playing the best team in the competition in Melbourne with playing the NBL’s best home side in Perth.
When the Hawks arrived in to Perth for Sunday’s game, the club contacted the NBL to address the travel conditions and were told a better effort would be made in future.
That’s what the coach expects from his players as well.
“We have to lick our wounds. Get our body right,” he said.
“It’s important that we don’t take this loss to heart. We move on as quickly as we can.
“These guys are some of the highest-character people I have coached.
“We brought eight new players in so we are trying to work out who we are. We have enormous growth in this group.
“Despite having our arses handed (to us by Perth), we have a lot of high-character people and we’ll stick together.
“We had our opportunities to win the other night. It would be nice to be 1-1 rather than 0-2.”