Ok then Day 3 and you may guess from the title that it was a very similar day to Day 2!
Once again two practices for the guys who are really putting in the work and coming together with every minute spent on the court together. A great sense of camaraderie building as they start to work out what works and what doesn’t and the strengths and opportunities we have.
In reality there’s not much more to report. The weather was fine, the hosting excellent once again and we’re certainly getting looked after well. The guys from Charleroi are practising before us but with that unwritten rule about not invading other team’s practices we can’t tell what they’re up too!
Guess we’ll find out in a few hour’s time when it’s game time. We do have another practise before that game so one final chance to fine tune. I get the sense from the guys that they can’t wait to get on court and test themselves out against quality opposition.
That’s exactly what we face in both games which, if you’ve read my preview, I’ve tried to bring out. Charleroi have a trio of really strong big USA forwards in Nate Linhart, Quincy Ford and Dario Hunt who are all established and experienced in Europe.
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Their other two Americans are guards and at opposite ends of the spectrum. Veteran Clifford Hammonds I can remember from his Clemson days in the ACC and he’s got vast experience at a high-level across Europe. His matchup against Fletch should be a great battle to see.
Matt Mobley played for Utah Jazz in the summer league after having a stellar college career with St. Bonaventure and although at the moment not yet realising his NBA dream he’s gone in to a high-quality league as a rookie which shows his pedigree.
Point guard Niels Maranegrave and shooting guard Alex Libert are both established Belgian Internationals and then there is Alex Hervelle a player I saw at Real Madrid in the Copa Del Rey a few years back. He played six years at Madrid and then a further eight at Bilbao in Spain’s ACB.
To do that you must be some player and now he’s returned to Belgium to play for his hometown Club and add more veteran leadership to a team stacked full of it. Boris Pennick is another big Belgian forward that played for his country at youth level and adds to the height.
Then there’s Rasko Katic, the huge ex-Serbian international who has played professionally across Europe for some great sides, one of them being reigning Belgian Champions Ostend whom he played for when we hosted them a few years back.
All coached by American Brian Lynch who had a good career himself across Europe before retiring to follow and support his wife, tennis superstar Kim Clijsters, moving in to coaching when his wife retired from tennis.
All in all, a pretty powerful line-up and one that will give us a great test of our standing tonight. However, perhaps for once this is not a game where the result is important. This trip is about giving us the opportunity to practice and prepare for the coming season and giving the guys the chance to concentrate on themselves, their team-mates and most importantly basketball.
As Fab has said in the preview, it’s about learning and assessing and that’s good enough for me!
As I type and finish this blog I recommend that you go to Drew’s website and read his thoughts on re-signing for The Eagles and his personal goals for the season. It’s a great read and well worth taking time out to follow.
There’s also another blog appeared and it’s very entertaining too as the OOTA, well four of them anyway, head towards Belgium to show their support and commitment to The Club. Not sure if it’s Luke or Les that’s written it but it’s another excellent read.
Me? Well that’s me finished typing for now and the next thing I’ll serve up is the match report from tonight’s eagerly awaited encounter. I’m looking forward to the game immensely and I hope you’re all looking forward to reading about it.