Monday, 30 January 2012

Uh Oh, it happened again

Two days after our loss at Kfar Saba the team was told to come to the gym an hour before practice. Once there we had a meeting where we were informed our coach was leaving to coach at Maccabi Haifa in the first division.  Everyone was pretty surprised to hear it. That being said we had 3 days without a coach before the new guy was hired. This would be my 5th head coach of the year haha, so crazy. He's a young guy who seems pretty cool so we'll see what happens. First game with him as coach is tomorrow night

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

@ Kfar Saba

My first game with the new team was an away game in  Kfar Saba which is right next to Hod Hasharon. Kfar Saba is 13th in the league at 3-11 or something like that. The game was pretty up and down and the foreign big man for them, Marshall Moses, was killing is. He finished the first half with 25 points. I got into the game with a couple minutes left in the first quarter and didnt do much. In the second quarter I started to settle in and scored a  couple baskets. We made a run and went up 4 or 5 but then had some lapses and gave back the lead, heading into the half down 5. Second half we came out really well and took the lead. For the rest of the half it was back and forth although we were usually winning. Nearing the end of the fourth we were up 6 or 7 but a string of bad plays brought the game to within one point. With around 30 seconds on the clock we had the ball on the offensive end and were playing keep away when our 4 man took, and made, a three pointer from the corner with 5 seconds left. However, the refs ruled it a 2 putting us up only 3 points instead of 4. Obviously  very significant bc now the game could be tied with a 3. We wanted to foul as soon as the ball was inbounded so as not to give them a chance to tie the game. So one of our Israeli guards, Allen, fouled the foreigner guard on Kfar Saba, Erick McCollum, as he caught the ball. McCollum tried to draw the foul by "shooting" it right away... and incredible the refs gave him the call. He went to the line, made the first two, but missed the third. In the ensuing mess it appeared that a Kfar Saba player jumped from behind our 4 man and tipped the ball out of bounds... but again the refs gave the call to KS and gave them back the ball. With 4 seconds remaining they in bounded the ball to my man, Moses, who tried to drive before taking a step back jumper from 18ft.... and making it for the win. Bad loss seeing as theyre so low in the standings. And we definitely threw the game away with some bad decisions and turnovers.

Personally, it was good to be back playing in a game and contributing. I've got about 30 scratches from the game all over me and a couple bruises. I played alright, probably logged about 20 minutes. 4/4 with 8 points, a couple rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover. The team is in 7th place right now so we have to bounce back next week. Probably going to be a rouuuugh practice tomorrow

The New Gym

Not exactly state of the art but whatever

Saturday, 21 January 2012

And I'm Gone

Couple days ago I asked for a release from Bnei Hasharon and signed with a different team, Hod Hasharon in the 2nd division. They are kind of like the farm team to Maccabi Haifa in the 1st division and are owned by the same guy. Anyways basically I wasn't really playing at Bnei and my relationship with the management and stuff wasn't great as far as playing so it was just a better thing all around to go somewhere else and have a new start.

Hod Hasharon is near Kfar Saba about 20 minutes away from where I live in Herzliya. It's still being figured out if I have to change apartments and move closer to the new team, or if I'll be able to stay in Herzliya. I'd rather stay just because it'll be such a hassle to move, and I'm pretty comfortable in the Herz. I also got a new car bc I had to give back the one I got from Bnei at the beginning of the year. So now I have this goldish Kia Rio... class class class.

Anyways started practicing with the team on Thursday. Really good group of guys. Theres about 5 other American-Jewish players that did what I did and got their Israeli citizenship. Add the 2 American foreigners and basically the whole team speaks English as a first language. I'm not eligible to play in our game tonight because the contract still has to go through the league officials or something but Tuesday night I'll be playing. Excited to have a fresh start and hopefully get back to just playing like myself

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Second Round Game 2: @ Haifa

Big game this past Sunday up in Haifa. Big game because they were a game ahead of us in the standings, but we beat them in the first round so we have the tiebreaker. Which means if we were to beat them again it would be like winning 2 games. The game was close from the get go and we were playing pretty well. Team was playing together with some alright defense except for a couple minutes where we gave up a couple transition dunks. Other than that it was a pretty even half that ended I think at 45-39. I played a few minutes in the first half without much happening. was 0/1 wtih 1 rbd. Second half things started to get way chippier. There were alot of plays where there probably should have been fouls but none were called. We ended up going on a pretty big run with a bunch of threepointers, including two crazy buzzer beater threes by our pg Tweety. Eventually we went up as big as 15 I think. Haifa made a comeback of sorts thanks to a couple bad turnovers/shots by us but the lead never went below 8 or so and we finished off the game with the win. Great to finally win after such a drought and finally get out of the basement of the league.

Cup Game #2

A while back we played, and won, our first game in the Israeli Cup. The cup is a tournament with teams from the first and second leagues and is separate from the individual leagues. Last Monday we played in the round of 16 against Maccabi Tel Aviv at home. The cup is kind of cool like that because the lower seed gets to play at home, I guess to give them a better chance at the upset. Anyways this was our first game with our third coach. It went ok, we were close for the majority of the game but in the end they pulled away a bit and we lost by 20 points I think. Obviously an improvement over when we played them a couple weeks ago and got 40 balled. I didn't get to play in the game though... sad times. So because we lost we're out of the cup and back to just our regular league schedule

Friday, 13 January 2012

Another one bites the dust

Wednesday after our game vs Jerusalem we come to the gym to find thaaaaat....... our coach quit. Basically said he couldn't do what he wants with the team we have so not going to stay. Thanks for nothing.

Second Round Game 1: vs Jerusalem

So the second round begins. In the first round we lost in OT to Jerusalem. They had just brought in a new coach for this game. Had also recently brought in Demetri McCamey from Illinois last year.

Shockingly, I got the nod to start the game. Fine with me. Finally get to play a little. First quarter I had 6 of the teams first 8 points, was doin my thing. We were playing alright, nothing crazy. Second quarter they had a bit of a run on us and I think we were down 12 or 15 or something at the half. Second half we came out really shitty and they ended up running the score up on us something serious... In related or unrelated news, your decision, I didn't play at all in the second half.. Preeeeeeetty frustrating. Curveball coming up in my next post

Game 10: vs. Maccabi Tel-Aviv

Our last game of the first round was against Maccabi T-A at home. Obviously things had not been going well of late, with us losing a couple blowout games. Leading up to the game I was told I would probably start the game. Then the day before the game I got told that I wasn't going to start because one of our Americans was hurt and they were changing the line up... no big deal sall good. Supposedly I was going to get some minutes early on. We started out the game pretty well, it was a back and forth first quarter. Not alot of defense but we were right there. Second quarter also went alright until about 2 minutes left... Then we kind of fell apart giving up a couple open three pointers and heading into the locker room down double digits. In the third quarter we COMPLETELY fell apart and were down by 30 some odd points. With 5 minutes left in the game I finally got in (thanks for nothing coach). I made a jumpshot and got a couple rebounds, 2 pts & 2 rbds. We lost by 40 points I think. So we ended the first round of the season 2-8 and last place in the league. Shockingly we're only one game behind the next two teams in the standings so if we stopped sucking balls so hard we could conceivably do something. We'll see what happens