You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Hawks on the up in NBL: Beveridge

AAP logoAAP 6/11/2016

Illawarra coach Rob Beveridge concedes he's aware of the pressure on his bottom-of-the-table Hawks, but their win over Melbourne United proved they've got the grit to claim some big scalps this season.

After losing five of their past six games, a hard-fought 82-73 defeat of an injury-hit Melbourne United at WIN Entertainment Centre on Sunday restored some much-needed self-belief for the Hawks.

The victory improved their record to 3-5 ahead of Saturday's round-six road clash with the Adelaide 36ers.

Beveridge felt compelled to defend his team in an article last week after criticism of the Hawks intensified on social media.

Illawarra blew an 11-point halftime lead before regrouping and overpowering the visitors in the final quarter.

"This was an enormous character win for us," Beveridge said.

"We know we've got our backs to the wall. There's a lot of external pressure going on at the moment.

"I know how close we are. People keep reminding me we're in last place, but I don't worry about that because I know we're not too far off the pace."

Feisty guard Mitch Norton insisted the Hawks don't pay attention to the negative comments.

"It's not hard for us to ignore at all," Norton said.

"We don't buy into any of that stuff on social media. We're a really tight group and that's all that matters.

"Whatever's happening on the outside we can't control that. We're all about controlling what we can, and that's on the court."

Beveridge said import Marvelle Harris "tweaked" an ankle in the final minute against Melbourne but should be fine to take on Adelaide.

Injury-hit Melbourne (3-6) have lost their past four games and aren't expected to have stars Chris Goulding and Todd Blanchfield back for their round six home meeting with Sydney.

Coach Dean Demopolous said his side won't stop working hard to improve.

"The effort overall always in the last two years has been good," Demopolous said.

"Sometimes the efficiency and execution aren't good, but the overwhelming majority of the time the intent is right. We just have to get better at what we're doing."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon