Rocco Zikarsky believes the Bullets' training in the mid-season break will help prevent more fourth quarter lapses.

1 Dec
Dan Woods for

The Bullets have allowed a fourth quarter complacency to slip into their game in recent weeks, but Next Star Rocco Zikarsky says the work put in by the side over the mid-season break will ensure Brisbane is “stronger” if and when the game is on the line.

Brisbane will enter Friday’s clash with Cairns on a three-game losing run. The Bullets lost the final quarter against Perth to slump to defeat against the Wildcats, before allowing Sydney to end their Round 7 clash on a 15-0 run.

“I don’t think it’s a fitness issue,” Zikarsky told SEN. “I think there’s just some little things we’ve been working on over this break that have been the fourth quarter problems.

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“We’ve definitely been building on them and we’re going to come out stronger in that fourth.

“I think we’re pretty comfortable with where we’re at.

“Obviously, we want to be higher and there are some games that have slipped away from us but our talent and our ability to play together as a team, I think that record will be looking a little bit different come the end of the season.”

Zikarsky’s development has been fast-tracked in his first professional season, and despite being the youngest player in the competition, he currently leads the NBL in blocks per 36 minutes.

At 7’3” tall, Zikarsky has all the physical attributes that will allow him to become a force of Australian basketball, but he’s credited the program at the Bullets for helping him elevate his game.

“I know the opportunities I’m being given are earned. Going in there I do want to play more minutes and I can prove that in training,” he said.

“Talking with Justin (Schueller) nothing is given to me. It’s every day in practice, it’s doing all the little stuff and eventually that role can become bigger.

“It’s been so good. The mentorship from the guys around me and the coaching from all the coaches is second to none. I think it’s been the best option for my development and I’ve really been enjoying my time.

“It’s definitely pretty crazy and sometimes I have to remind myself I’m training against one of the Australian greats (Aron Baynes).

“I still have that starstruck thing with him but right now it’s just getting down and training with him, that’s been the best thing for me.”

Zikarsky and the Bullets will mark their return from the mid-season break when they take on the Taipans on Friday night.

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