Belfast Star coach Neal McCotter says his side "need a miracle" to make the end of season Top Four play-offs following an 82-71 defeat away to Dublin side Marian.
Star, for whom American Ricky Taylor top scored with 28 points, now lie seventh in the All-Ireland Premier League with only five games of the regular season remaining.
McCotter was left bitterly disappointed by the loss to Marian, but admitted that from the opening quarter it seemed as if simply wasn't going to be their night.
McCotter said: "Keelan Cairns got into foul trouble very early on, he committed two fouls inside three minutes which I couldn't argue with but then there wasn't the same consistency by the officials at the other end of the court.
"With 30 seconds to go in the first quarter we had seven fouls against us and Marian none - I don't know any level of basketball where it is possible not to have committed a single foul in a quarter.
"But the refereeing was not the reason we lost the game... we also made a slow start in the first quarter and from then on we were playing catch-up and it was a struggle from then on."
Though, Star did edge within five points of the Dubliners in the fourth quarter only for the impressive Neil Baynes to drop in a three-pointer and take Marian out of reach.
"We really needed to win this match to give ourselves some breathing space but now we don't - now we need a miracle to make the top four but we will keep fighting and give our best and see what happens," added McCotter.