26th of December
Our first introduction to the MaxPreps Holiday Classic was in the 1/8 vs Rufus King. The excitement and the atmosphere were great. It was a perfect feeling to be part of this team. It is a different kind of basketball from Europe. It was new to us. It was like a shock because of the system. We started slow, tired and as soon as the bigs picked up and put some energy from the bench and helped the team go further. We won after a double overtime and should have won a lot earlier. It was good anyway and I enjoyed it.
27th of December
We played again vs Etiwanda in the 1/4 and we were not outselves. Our minds were somewhere else. We did not play hard enough, without energy. The bench was quiet… It should not be like that. We were bad.
28th of December
On the day of the rest, the group went to watch a Loyola Marymount University practice and to relax a little bit at Venice Beach whereas I went to Riverside. I saw a practice and they showed me around. I also hanged out with Robert Boezeman and Alex Larsson for two hours.
The whole group went to watch UC Riverside and in the afternoon purchased some items at an outlet. On the third game vs Alemany to qualify from the 5th to the 8th we bounced back from that loss on the 27th. We played a really good basketball with inside-outs and we did not want to have another loss. We had some problems in the first half but worked them out in the second one. We showed character and won.
Against Prestonwood for the fifth place we started really slow with no energy. Everybody was tired. It seemed as if everybody was already at home with their minds. After the halftime break we came back and played a good basketball but it was not enough. If we had played the first half as the second one we would have won that game. Let’s look forward.
We did not even sleep in our beds. At 2 am we were driven towards the airport in LA and on our way we saw snowing in California. Incredible! At 8 am in LA we caught the first 5 hour plane towards Philly and celebrated the Dutch and the Spanish New Year’s Eve before getting on the plane towards Madrid. Unforgettable trip. In the afternoon on the 1st of January we finally were at home. Now seven days to rest and get ready for the rest of the season. Let’s go, CBA!