PROUD PARENTS: Bryan and Terri Crosswell of Ballina in the Melbourne Tigers training shirts of their NBLplaying son Nathan. The
PROUD PARENTS: Bryan and Terri Crosswell of Ballina in the Melbourne Tigers training shirts of their NBLplaying son Nathan. The

Ballina couple right at home on Tigers? turf

By ADRIAN MILLER

sport@northernstar.com.au

AFTER being the odd ones out in the lions den at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on Wednesday night, Bryan and Terri Crosswell will definitely be among the faithful at Melbourne's State Netball Hockey Centre tonight.

The Ballina couple flew to Melbourne last night to cheer on their son Nathan when he suits up for the Tigers in the fourth game of the National Basketball League (NBL) grand final series.

The Bullets lead the best-of-five series 2-1 and victory tonight would clinch their first NBL championship since 1987.

The Tigers are the defending champs after beating the Sydney Kings last year.

Yesterday Bryan said he and Terri were excited about joining thousands of other Tigers fans, especially after Wednesday when they had to endure the screams of about 7500 Bullets supporters.

"The crowd was great for a Wednesday night and it was a great night, other than the result," he said.

"But the crowd in Melbourne is usually pretty good and they'll get right into cheering the guys. It's a smaller venue and you're much closer to the game than Brisbane so it's a great atmosphere."

It's Nathan's ninth year in the NBL. He's played 196 games for the Tigers, Victorian Titans/Giants and Cairns Taipans.

As the back-up point guard to Daryl McDonald he's been influential when he's taken to the court this series, averaging around 17 minutes of court time.

On Wednesday he had a quieter game than usual, scoring five points, making one rebound and one assist as the Tigers lost 113-93.

"He had a few bumps and bruises after the game; it was pretty tough," Bryan said.

"Both sides are bruised and battered but they have to get ready for Friday."

It will be the fifth trip to Melbourne this season for the Crosswells and Bryan said the finals series had been amazing.

"When Nathan was young we used to go to watch Brisbane when they were the gun side and now he's playing in the senior league it's a real buzz," he said.

"It's been a lifelong goal for him to get where he is and it's a dream come true that he's there after all the effort.

"He said to us that's he enjoying the experience because a lot of players play their whole careers and never get to play in a grand final."



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