Thursday, November 15, 2012

Eredivisie & Cup Tourney Update


We are currently 4-4 in the league so far with wins against Rotterdam & Amsterdam (2 road wins) and Magixx and Groningen (2 home wins). The one game we should have won was the game on the road against Zwolle where we had all the momentum and then let the game slip towards the end. A lot of this was due to the fact that our experience level is not as high as some of the other teams and when you need a few crucial stops and smart decisions down the stretch, having been there before really helps, especially when you are on the road. In any event, we are learning from our mistakes and the next time we are in the position we will be sure to put the other team away.

Baby Up & Under against Rotterdam
So far our league has seen some pretty crazy scores. Teams including us are winning and losing by 20 and 30 points on any given night. I think that this is mostly due to the fact that it is still early in the season and players, coaches, and teams are figuring out how to play with each other and develop better chemistry so when things go bad they can come together and come back before it turns into these blow-out games. Another key factor to our league has been home-court advantage. While our first game at home against Leiden was a fluke (lost by 40), we have dominated games at home from an energy, spirit and execution perspective. While Holland is not very big, busing around the country to play teams the same night is tough on everyone mentally and physically. It is difficult to get yourself going right away and ready to play within an hour after stepping off the bus. This has been an adjustment for me as at SCU and almost all D1 programs around the country, the team travels the day before. We would usually have a shootaround or practice upon arriving at the arena and be able to get comfortable before we played the next day. For me, over the course of the season I will get used to this and am beginning to make adjustments such as no sleeping on the bus and keeping my mind focused by watching film.

As a team we are playing up to our coach and fans expectations but we all know that we can and will be much better as the season goes along. As I mentioned before our team is very young both in age and our experience level but we have plenty of talent that has yet to be seen. While everyone on the team has played elsewhere professionally prior to this season, aside from Storm and me, not very many of us have logged significant minutes. This has been evident for everyone on occasions including myself as I am still adjusting to playing in games for real and not merely in the last few minutes like at SCU. As a team, we need to work on our consistency as our team feels like it’s been riding a see-saw since our first game. Moving forward, the month of November is crazy for us as we have 10 games so this will be a good opportunity for us to get into a rhythm and gain confidence.

NBB Beker (Dutch Cup)

Last night we moved onto the quarterfinals of the NBB Beker which is the equivalent of the FA Cup for soccer in England. Games will be played throughout the year and the team that wins the cup is given the opportunity to participate or qualify for competitions throughout all of Europe. This is similar in soccer where you have both the winners of the domestic cup as well as the league who have the chance to compete in Euro-league style competitions. One problem that the Dutch league is undergoing is financial problems (budget constraints) as even the team who won the league last year (Den Bosch) wasn't able to afford playing in the next level competitions. The main reason for these problems stem from the '08 global recession as well as the current Euro debt crisis which continues to stretch pessimism across all of Europe. This is more true for sports (other than soccer) as sponsors have become more hesitant to put up money when the returns are not necessarily guaranteed. While I am sure I don’t have all the specifics on this completely correct, I think you get the gist of it! Our next NBB Beker game is in January.

Highlight of the game against Rotterdam!

Off the Court

My off the court routine has been more slow to what I had gotten used to in college and has consisted of roughly the same routine each day: wake-up, eat, practice, hang at the apartment, eat, practice, eat, and sleep. I have recently been getting caught up on my TV shows: Breaking Bad, How I Met Ya Muda, Burn Notice, Dexter and Revenge (Not just a chick show lads!). I am also reading quite a bit: some Dutch language learning books and some classic Tom Clancy books. Oh and I am currently waiting for COD & Halo 4 to arrive which I am sure will consume entirely too much of my free time. Aside from hanging in the apartment we have broken routine a few times to go eat out in Den Helder and Amsterdam for lunch and dinner which has been relaxing. The other night we went to go see Skyfall, the new Bond movie which was awesome! The one question I would ask is who was the Bond girl? M? That Asian chick who lived for 3 scenes? Anyways, for me, I used to watch all of the old bond movies with my dad so seeing the nostalgia card played so many times in Skyfall made me miss the good ‘ol days quite a bit!

Plastic Bottles

Like in many states around the U.S., recycling has become a more common and emphasized habit to adopt especially when you are in college and are consuming half your body weight in beer and caffeine drinks each week. Like myself and many others, I was always too lazy to save these cans and bottles to bring them to the local recycling yard to redeem my 5 cents per item. Instead I was usually relieved of this duty by Santa Clara’s favorite couple Can Lady and Can Man. 

I would include a picture of this wonderful recycling duo but for some reason the combination of keywords "Can Lady, Keystone light, Santa Clara, Ryan Alverson, and 30-rack" didn't show any results in Bing!!

Anyways, in Holland, recycling is even more 'subsidized' as each bottle (1.5 liters) can earn you up to 25 euro-cents per item...quite the deal!


Over the last several years, I have gotten used to missing out on being home for Thanksgiving. Despite this, I believe playing basketball professionally in a foreign country gives me plenty of reason to give thanks to family, friends, teammates, and all who have helped me along the way!

Shout-out to SCU BBall 

For beating St. Louis (Top 25 team) on the road the other night! One thing I do wish we had over here was ESPN and some magical way to erase this time difference so I could watch the games without having to wake up at 3am (which I might have to do when they play the most hated team in America...Duke!). Also congrats to Kevin Foster for breaking SCU's scoring the beginning of his senior season!

Until next time...Doeiiii!! (Dutch phrase for see ya later)

1 comment:

  1. I'm famous! Or infamous...

    Oh man, I'm glad there were no search results released.