The Perth Wildcats are sick of watching other teams lift the NBL trophy.
The Wildcats had hoped their 2010 Championship would usher in a new dynasty.
Instead, the New Zealand Breakers stole the spotlight with three straight Championships.
The Wildcats are hot favourites to win this year’s title, especially after the Breakers endured a dramatic fall from grace that saw them finish in seventh place.
Perth’s top-place finish means they will enjoy home court advantage throughout the playoffs.
Their first assignment is a best-of-three semi-final showdown with Wollongong, starting in Perth on Friday night.
Perth, boasting star imports James Ennis and Jermaine Beal, are hot favourites to win this year’s title.
Wildcats veteran Shawn Redhage admitted the players were disappointed they haven’t been able to add to their 2010 triumph, but said they were desperate to make up for lost time this year.
“We’re pretty upset we didn’t win a few more. But the past is the past,” Redhage said.
“There’s a lot of hunger amongst the group.
“We’re sick of watching the other teams put up the trophy at the end of the season.”
The Hawks have struggled badly in Perth in recent years.
In their two matches there this season, they lost 87-47 in November and 86-65 on Sunday.
Redhage claimed Sunday’s match was irrelevant given it was a dead rubber.
The Hawks had won seven of their previous eight games to scrape into fourth spot, and Redhage said they were one of the most dangerous teams in the competition.
“Wollongong’s probably the best shooting in the league,” Redhage said.
“Rotnei Clarke is one of those few guys who can take over a game.
“No matter how good a defence you’re playing, he can still hit shots.
“And Oscar Foreman really stretches the floor. He hit eight threes against Sydney, so he can really light it up.”
Game two of the semi-final series will be played in Wollongong on Sunday, before returning to Perth on Tuesday if a deciding game is required.