Saturday, March 28, 2009

Maccabi Game

Whats going on! This past week, we played Maccabi Tel Aviv, the best team in the Israeli basketball league and first in the standing. One of our key players is still out due to injury, so the team signed another player; Brian Markson to fill in that void while our teammate recovers. He is a very good slasher with great leaping ability and brings a lot of energy to the floor when he plays. It was a great atmosphere at the game and both team got out to a very good start in the game. Maccabi, who team is full of tall and athletic players, were getting out in transition and getting a lot of fast break baskets in the first half. Our team responded well, we made some runs of our own and you could really see the team growing in confidence as the game went along. With some of our main guys sitting on the bench due to foul trouble at half time, we were only down 45-50.

The start of the second half, we came out very aggressive on both ends of the floor and took a small lead. The 3rd quarter proved to be a very pivotal period for our team because we were able to get to the foul line early and often. This allowed us to put the ball inside and penetrate to the basket. At the end of the third period, we were ahead 76-75.The fourth quarter was very intense and emotional as our team could sense a big win coming on our home court. Lead changes were going back and forth but in the last 3 minutes of the game, Maccabi executed much better than we did. In a span of 40 seconds, we went from up 2 to down 4 giving up two three pointers on back to back possessions and that proved to be the difference in the game. We out played them for 35 minutes, but in the end, they were able to separate emotions from their play execution and found a way to win. This is a part of the game that our team lacks but we are getting better at. It was a hard fought game and we put up a great effort but we went down 93-96. I finished the game with 20pts, 4 rebs. & 2 ast.

Tomorrow we play Jerusalem, a similar team to Maccabi, who is 2nd in the league standings. It will be a good test for us on the road to see if we can maintain the same intensity from last game away from home. I’m sure we can and will; our full roster will be in tack so I’m looking forward to the challenge.

Last night I watch the Cards play against Arizona in the Sweet 16 and it was a thing of beauty. The way they shared the ball and got everyone involved was fun to watch. Also, to watch Andre McGee harassing guards full court the entire game and having that defensive energy trickle its way down to his other teammates is enjoyable to watch. Three games left to the crown….GO CARDS! Peace…

Son Of The City

Monday, March 16, 2009

Two Game Split

Hey! Hey! Hope that everyone is well back in that cold weather back home. In the previous blog I wrote you, our team was coming off a tough double over time loss to Holon on the road. So last week we hosted Ashekelon at home in a game that we needed to win. We opened the game very sluggish and were not playing in a good rhythm. Two minutes into the second quarter, one of our key players went down with a leg injury and did not return for the game. So as bad as we played and facing adversity, our team was fortunate that we were only down one point at half time 33-34.

The start of the second half, we looked like a totally different team. We played with more energy and possessed tenacity on defense. Our transition game picked up pace which enabled us to get out and get some easy baskets. I fouled out of the game close to the end, but my team was still able to come away with the victory. I know….I must stop fouling, this is the third game I have fouled out of. Lol! I ended the game with 19pts and 4rebs and 2stls. Felt good to get back on the winning side!

Yesterday we headed back on the road, with one of our key players still out from last game, to play Galil. They are a very good pick and roll team with great shooters from the outside. On the contrary, they opened up the game with a lot of isolation plays and were beating us off the dribble to the basket. We were not playing with any toughness and were just letting them do whatever they wanted to do on offense. The first half, they shot 94% from the field…is that even possible shooting in the gym alone? That is just an indicator of the bad defense we were playing, giving up lay-up after lay-up and still, we were only down 8 at half time 52-44. The second half we played with more courage and purpose like we wanted to win the game. Our defense was getting stops and we were getting out in transition, where we are at our best, for easy baskets. In the 4th quarter when the game was on the line, we were just not able to stop their pick and roll offense when we needed to and it cost us the victory. In zone or man, they dissected our defense with it and either got an easy shot or an open three. We put up a good fight in the second half but in the end, we just couldn’t get the stops that we needed to have. I ended the game with 20pts, 8rebs and 3assist but it was a bad shooting night….6/17 fg’s! Anybody that knows my game, knows that I thrive on efficiency! Only cure is to get back in the gym….

On another note, I wasn’t in the best of moods after losing my game yesterday but saw the Cards get the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament! It lifted my night and got me pretty excited to watch them play this week! Let the count down begin….6 games left to the crown!

Son Of The City

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Hey! Sorry, I have not been feeling well this week, so that is why I haven’t written a blog to you guys. Last weekend our team had a good week of practice and prepared to face Holon, Israeli Cup Champions, on the road in a hostile environment. It was a great game that took two over-times to decide the winner. Unfortunately, we missed the game winning shot at the buzzer and were on the losing end of the battle 107-108. I was able to help the team get out to a great start in the first half but saw only a few minutes in the second half. The Israeli rules say that two Israeli players must be on the court at all times during the game. Our coach felt we needed two American big men and one wing man on the court instead of two wing men and one big, which in turn, left little action for me in the second half. Overall, I thought that we put forth a great effort and played well as a team, but in the end we just didn’t find a way to pull it out. I ended the game with 14pts and 5rebs.

My dad is here in Tel Aviv visiting for two weeks, so it felt good to have him here and able to watch me play. The day after the game, we went on a religious retreat for a few days to site see and ease my mind from the game. Our first trip was to Jerusalem, to see and learn more about The Biblical history of Jesus Christ. It was a great experience, we got a chance to see the Crucifixion and Resurrection sites of Jesus Christ. Our second trip was to see The Sea of Galilee and The Jordan River. Seeing those sites and knowing what they represent was very powerful and something I will never forget.

This week we play a team called Ashkelon, they are one game ahead of us in the standings. They have a team with good chemistry and great shooters, but it's at our home so we look forward to getting back on the right track. Look forward to writing you after the game tomorrow and telling you about the victory from the game. Back to the gym until we get it right….Peace!

Son Of The City