"I'M NOT going to sleep tonight man," Ray Willis said.

"We lost. Other people have wives, kids, partners. This is all I got. Basketball is my life."

Port City Power clawed back in the fourth quarter of the opening round of the Queensland Basketball League season, getting within three points before losing by nine to Mackay.

The match was competitive. It was stark contrast to the blowouts of early in the 2014 season.

Being better than last year is not enough for Willis. He was not here then. He is here now. He wants to win. Nothing short of winning will make him smile. Not even 35 points.

Instead, Willis put his hand up and said the five times he turned the ball over was five too many.

But not all of what Willis had running through his head was about losing. He knows the potential to go forward and win is there, and that win will come with more court time.

He also thinks Mackay has played as well as it can and the Power will be ready for any future matches.

"They hit a lot of shots. I mean, man, they hit a lot of shots," he said, over and over again.

One of the players who did so was Rhys Martin, an NBL guard who has played at the Wollongong Hawks since 2008.

Martin took over the second quarter, leading Mackay back from a deficit to establish a nine point half time lead.

Willis knew nothing about him or the Meteors coming in. He said now he knows what to expect from the league, the players and the fans. He can handle it.

"I had no expectations, there was pressure in pre-season but that to regular season is like two different things," he said. "He (Martin) did what his team needed to win.

"That is what I am going to be doing."

Port City fall short Mackay Meteors 93 - Port City Power 84
Ray Willis- 35pts, 14 rebounds Michael Cedar- 22pts, 4 rebounds Justin Baker- 11pts, 6 rebounds

FULL SPORT WRAP in Monday's Observer print edition.



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