It’s that time of the year, this weekend we are in the Championship of Madrid. Currently 1-1, with a game to go. Top 3 go through to the Spanish Championship.
In Spain they play the Infantil Finals as a league, not semi final and final. So we could lose tomorrow against Real Madrid, finish with a 1-2 record and go through, as long as the other game goes our way!! If it’s a 3 way tie, it goes to points.
The last few weeks have been very tense within our group. The first few rounds of the play offs were very easy, against teams from our half of the group in Madrid, then we switched and had to play Real Canoe. The first game was easy, at home late on a Sunday night, we won by 30 points. The next game was different, up 10 for most of the game, just couldn’t kill them off, then we pulled away to a 25 point lead or so….then with 2 mins to go, they had a few 3’s, a series of and 1’s and with 1 min to go it we were 11 up. We were on the rocks…! We had an and 1 ourselves, we were fouled a few times, then a 3 on the buzzer to bump or score back up. We were through and on our way to the Final 4s!!! A great feeling for the players and coaches!
We had a friendly the day after our Final 8 game, against Estu Cadet B, 98 born boys, 1 year older. This game may have been a step too far as the players have been dropping like flies lately. We were 9 sessions a week and 1 game at one point, and then with 6 players of our 11 out injured….a broken foot/shoulder problem/ankle/knees/hip/knee we had to change. With injuries and fatigue we have lacked rhythm these last few weeks, building up to the finals. We dropped down to 3 sessions a week and stopped physical training. We have shot a lot, gone over our concepts then finished. Not ideal, but the best thing to do.
Our 1st game of the finals was yesterday, against Districto Olympico, a team that we have beaten 4 times this season. They are ok, lack talent, but have 12 guys that run, defend well and fight. In the games all season we have won by 10, 5, 1 and 7…I think. In one game we went to overtime. So we knew we were in for a game. We started poorly, lost our star man within a few minutes with 2 fouls. They had a 15 point lead pretty much all game, we went on some great runs….but, we just couldn’t do it. Districto had the game of their lives, hardly missed a shot, everything just worked for them. I said at half time that they couldn’t keep it up for 40 minutes…I was wrong! Good job coach! Players were distraught. Coach was foaming. After watching the video this morning, the lack of ball pressure didn’t help, rotations missed. Our talent was on the bench and our scorers were just not hitting shots. We lost by 19.
Today was a new day, we played Fuenlabrada, a win would give us a chance at 3rd place and get us into the Spanish Championship. Patched up, ankles taped, we looked a different group. Not a better group…just a different one. We didn’t start well, but got enough buckets our way to make us feel confident. Couple of fast breaks, some 3s some and 1s, thats us. We were level at the quarter and half, But in good shape. We had a good 3rd then killed them off in the 4th.
One game to go…
Tomorrow, 2 of the best 1999 born boys in Spain go head to head as we play Real Madrid. Luka Doncic for Real Madrid…and Ernesto Sanchez for Estudiantes. Here they are in the Spanish version of Slam Magazine …’Gigantes’ ….this is my second season working with Ernesto, as I was with him 3 years ago with the ‘Alevin” Category. One of the clubs most talented players, but he still has his days though, normal 14 year old kid…!
Both players play for the Madrid Selection and both have been selected for their National Teams. Tomorrow with be interesting…and very tough!
Well said KG!
Every year my club takes a photo of all the players and coaches, here we are at half time of an ACB game. The photos are all over the club from years gone by. I’m on this photo….back stick, middle, left ish.
I must go…big game tomorrow!
I will post again tomorrow, to tell you how it went!
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