New head coach of the Hawke's Bay Hawks Zico Coronel has led his team to a 3-0 start to the National Basketball League Season. But their biggest test is yet to come when they play the 2017 league champions the Wellington Saints tomorrow night.
"I don't feel any animosity towards Saints and I'm really proud of the seven years that I had there and the great people that I got to associate with and they are the class of the league and until anyone proves otherwise and so we're aspiring to get to that level and hopefully exceed it," says Coronel.
"I think the board and the Hawk's organisation have done a good job to secure a pretty talented roster, they've got Zico in her for full time coach and he's come in and his first gig as head coach so he's doing really well," says Hawks player Everard Bartlett.
The season start puts them top of the table for now and they'll want to keep the momentum going to improve on last year's 4-14 record.
"We had a couple of years there when it was down a little bit and you know this year to get off to that start and not only in the team but in the organisation and even the community is really positive so it's good to get back to where it was," says Hawks player Jarrod Kenny.
The Saints have proven tough to beat, not a single blemish on their season last year when they claimed the national title.
"They've been a championship team for a very long time and they've been a measuring stick for a lot of teams and it's for us this is a test for us and this is where we're going to see for ourselves and where we're at we believe that we have the talent and the roster to be able to get the win," says Bartlett.
It'll be back to back games for the Bay who will take on the Nelson Giants the very next day.