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Hawks expect NBL grand final double boost

NZN 26/02/2017 Adrian Warren

Illawarra Hawks are looking at a potential double boost for game two of their NBL grand final series against Perth in Wollongong on Wednesday.

They expect to have import Marvelle Harris back from overseas and centre AJ Ogilvy capable of playing more minutes.

Harris missed Sunday's game-one 89-77 loss to the Wildcats in Perth, as he returned home to be with his seriously ill father.

Three-time All-NBL First Team player Ogilvy logged just fewer than 20 minutes in Perth, after suffering an ankle injury in the decisive semi-final win over Adelaide thee days earlier.

"He (Ogilvy) didn't do any further damage (in Perth)," Hawks general manage Kim Welch told AAP on Monday.

"He was a little underdone but he'll come back for treatment tonight and we expect him to play full minutes on Wednesday night.

"We're anticipating Marvelle to arrive on Tuesday and be available for the game as well.

"After Adelaide we sat down and mapped out that he could get back (home) and be back (in Australia by) Tuesday and that's on track.

"But obviously if anything changes, we support him and what he's going through now, so no rush.

"But he's indicated to us he's ready to come back and join the team, which is great.".

Welch was also optimistic the Hawks would get more productivity from another import, the league's Best Sixth Man, Rotnei Clake.

The sharpshooting guard was kept to just 11 points in Perth, around six below his season average.

Clarke averages around 13 field goal attempts a game, but took just eight shots in Perth.

"It's no secret that we need Rotnei scoring closer to 20 points, which usually correlates to a win for us," Welch said.

"(Perth guard) Damian Martin is a five-time NBL defensive player of the year so Rotnei is really going to have to earn his points this series.

"But he had a couple of quiet games against Adelaide and got us over the line in game three, so we have got plenty of faith that he will turn that around as well."

Welch anticipated a sellout crowd for Wednesday's game and hoped the Hawks fans would make the atmosphere as hostile for the Wildcats as Perth's was towards his team.

"'A five-point deficit can feel like 20 points there, so we've just got to turn the tables and make them feel that on Wednesday night here," Welch said.

"We didn't get the result we wanted but we feel we can turn it around pretty quickly and level the series up, so it's definitely far from panic stations after last night."

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