IT may only be a dream to some, but that is enough for Alex Loughton following their come-from-behind defeat of Townsville on Friday night.
The big forward turned it on in the second half, scoring 22 of his 25 points in the final 20 minutes to almost single-handedly reel in a 14-point half-time deficit.
He had missed all five field goal attempts in the first half but stuck to his guns and finished with five-of-six three pointers, pumping his fist when each one dropped.
And when the game was there to be won, it was rookie Cam Gliddon who stepped up, flushing a triple from the corner with three seconds on the clock.
Townsville fluffed their ensuing play - Peter Crawford claimed the blame for that post-game - as the Taipans finished 78-75 victors.
It gave Cairns the split on Townsville, while they have also got the better of Sydney this season, and as long they keep winning, they are a chance of making the four.
And as unlikely as that appears - they haven't won two consecutive games all season, and face Perth this Friday - Loughton is daring to dream.
"Absolutely the dream's still alive," Loughton said.
" I had a lot of fun out there. Its a great game for the fans to talk about all week and bring their friends to the game next week," he said.
It didn't look like that would be the case early on, as the Snakes shot at 26 percent in the opening two periods.
The Crocs had six players shooting at 50 per cent or better, but Taipans Cam Tragardh (0-of-5), Alex Loughton (0-of-5), Brad Hill (0-of-6) and Cam Gliddon (1-of-5) had 1-of-21 between them.
Three early stops in the second quarter helped Cairns bridge the gap and when Gliddon fed Edwards for a one-handed alley-oop they had regained the lead.
Aaron Grabau (14 points, 4-of-4 three-pointers) then made the most of some crisp passing to hit back-to-back triples, while Wilson fed Edwards with an amazing behind-the-back pass for a power jam to keep the hosts in front.
But it was all green from there until the main break, a 9-0 Crocs' run, including a Chris Cedar three and neat right-handed hooked lay-up, started the rot before an Ervin three put them out to a 45-31 half-time advantage.
The Taipans began to roll in the third term, however, taking a one-point lead at the final break thanks to back-to-back triples from Loughton.
Wilson (15 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists) kept his cool in the final term, Loughton kept making shots and the Taipans controlled the boards, all leading to Gliddon's moment in the sun.
While Loughton said the Crocs could feel unlucky not to get the chocolates, Crocs' coach Paul Woolpert was not about to curse the basketball gods.
"It comes down to hustle and desire. It's going and getting the basketball, and we didn't do it. I think that's the rap on our team in this league," he said.
"It's hard to win basketball games when out-rebounded 43-27 and when you give your opponent 16 more field goal attempts. We did a lot of things well though, but Alex Loughton was outstanding and you can't win games giving those things to your opponents."
Remarkably it was the fifth straight game the Snakes have won or lost by three points.
Cairns Taipans 78 (Loughton 25, Wilson 15, Grabau 14)
Townsville Crocodiles 75 (Ervin 18, M Cedar 12, Crawford12)
Crowd: 3881 At Cairns Convention Centre
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Unwavering: The Taipans faithful haven't stopped believing, after a tight defeat of Townsville on Friday night.