KNOX Raiders men will look to seal their place among the best ever South East Australian Basketball League teams this Saturday night.
The Raiders will face Albury-Wodonga Bandits at Lauren Jackson Sports Centre in Albury for the SEABL south conference title. If they win, it will be their third title in five straight conference grand finals.
Raiders guard Mick Hill said his side knew its time had to be now after losing the conference title last year.
"For guys like me you can't be sure how long you will be playing so each chance at a title is an extremely important one," he said.
"You don't know if you will get a chance at it again. This is a chance to seal our legacy as a great team."
After losing to the Bandits at the State Basketball Centre in the conference semi-finals, the Raiders had to beat Nunawading Spectres on Saturday night to earn a rematch with the Bandits and they did it with a 94-72 win.
Hill had a team-high 28 points while CJ Massingale added 23. Spectres guard Shane McDonald had a game-high 32 points.
The Raiders upped their defensive pressure and created 29 points from turnovers, a statistic Hill believed was critical in the win.
He said the Raiders had pushed themselves on the practice court in the lead-up to the game and it had made all the difference.
"We had a bad preparation leading into the first Albury game and it showed," he said. "This time we had a good week, got everyone back training, whereas before the Albury game we had two shoot arounds and that was it because so many guys were struggling with injury."
The Raiders were without import forward Lester Strong in the first clash due to a knee injury but he played off the bench against the Spectres and will do so again against Albury.
"Lester is not 100 per cent but he is a big body and it's better having him for some time than none," Hill said.
The Bandits haven't won a title in a decade and Hill, who played with the club in 2002, said he expected a sell-out crowd to greet the Raiders.
"Their stadium holds about 1200 people and it will be extremely loud as they haven't been in the finals for about 11 years," he said. "It would be daunting for some teams but we are an experienced group who are used to being on the road."
Hill said the Raiders would call on their big-game experience before facing the Bandits.
"We won a title in Brisbane a few years ago and won a semi-final in Bendigo last year so we have had a few big road wins in our time," he said.
"Being able to lock them down will be the big key. Last time we didn't do that, they shot at too good a percentage. We can't let them do that this time."
The Raiders men play Albury-Wodonga Bandits at Lauren Jackson Sports Centre, Albury this Saturday at 7.30pm.