News Article

Seeding Qualifier Preview - Hawks v JackJumpers

28 Feb
3 mins read
The NBL24 Finals Series tips off tonight as the Illawarra Hawks visit the Tasmania JackJumpers at My State Bank Arena.

The Seeding Qualifier matchup pits third against fourth and showcases two of the league’s hottest teams.

The Hawks are the resurgent story of the competition, having qualified for a double chance after sitting in last position after nine regular season games.

The side closed the season with a 12-win, 7-loss record, which included a 108-107 double overtime thriller against the JackJumpers in Tasmania.

Justin Tatum will coach his first official game as Head Coach of the Foundation Club and take an unchanged line-up into the Seeding Qualifier.

The Hawks have been fluent with their starting five in recent weeks, with a mix of Swaka Lo Buluk, Lee, and Robinson joining the big three of Clark, Froling, and Harvey.

Clark and Froling are full of confidence after their recognition at last week’s NBL Awards night and will play pivotal roles in containing the JJs.

The Hawks and JackJumpers are two of the better rebounding sides in the competition, and it’s hard to look past this element of the game when previewing the four-quarter matchup this evening.

Froling and Clark are in the top five in the competition, and the cavalry of Peatling, Blanchfield, Olbrich and Lee have all bought into their roles on the offensive and defensive glass.

The JackJumpers lead the league in three-point percentage and are top three in field goal percentage, so limiting the second-chance points will be crucial if the Hawks are to come away with the win.

The sense of belief across the group is palpable. While Hawk Nation celebrates the return to the Finals for the first time in three seasons, Justin Tatum’s men are at pains to point out that the job is only getting started, and their sole focus is tonight’s matchup.

Opposition Watch

The JackJumpers enter their third NBL Finals Series in succession off the back of a four-game winning streak.

Scott Roth has said his side focuses primarily on how the JackJumpers can execute their game plan rather than anything the Hawks might do.

Jack McVeigh and Sean Macdonald were among the award winners at the NBL’s MVP awards night. McVeigh was in the All-NBL Second Team, while Macdonald was named the competition’s Most Improved Player.

The MyState Bank Arena faithful provides the JJs with one of the more hostile home court advantages in the league, and tonight’s matchup will be no different, with a spot in the playoff series against the Perth Wildcats the reward for the winner.

Where To Watch

Catch the action from 5:30pm AEDT Live on ESPN via Kayo.

Hawks Watch Party

Why not join the watch party at Hotel Illawarra, 160-164 Keira St, Wollongong, from 5:30 pm AEDT.


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