So, Saturday was a great day to play basketball in Switzerland. It was cold but not too cold. The leaves had started to change and SAM Massagno (my team) had our first real Swiss road game. Yes, we played Vacallo on the road but Boncourt was our first road game because Vacallo is 20 minutes down the road and Boncourt is a little farther.
A little geography on Switzerland is needed to understand this statement. Massagno is located in the south of Switzerland close to the border of Italy. Boncourt is located in northern Switzerland on the border of France. In fact it is so close to the border that we walked to the border of France from our bus so we could stretch our legs a little bit. In total, Boncourt is approximately 5 hours away.
This would be no problem if we had chartered a flight the night before and stayed in the Marriott the night before but this is Switzerland and not Marquette University. We left at 10 am to play the game at 5:30 pm. To add to our travel situation we took the tiniest bus that I have ever traveled on. The seats in the bus made airline seats look like lazy boys. So, imagine 20 grown men in a tiny bus for 5 hours getting ready to play a basketball game.
Also, Boncourt is one of the toughest places in Switzerland. Boncourt is a little town with nothing to do so on Saturdays the whole town comes out with their drums and air horns and makes a lot of noise in the gym. The team is also very well coached and they are tough. All of these factors led us to our first real road game.
Needless to say, we didn't respond very well. We came out the first quarter and played very sluggish. It was as if we did not have our legs. During warm ups I thought to myself that I might not have any legs this game, they just felt so heavy. At the end of the first quarter we were down 28-14. Definitely not a great start.
It didn't get much better from there either. We went on runs but whenever we were to cut the lead down, Boncourt hit a big shot or got a steal. At halftime our gracious hosts were up 46-27.
I could talk more about how the game went but I think my brain has blocked most of the details out of my head. I'm pretty happy about that too. My final stats for the game were 23 and 11. I had played pretty well but I wish we could have come out of the game with the win. I really want to win more games this year and play like we are capable of.
At the end of the game, Boncourt has a player of the game for both teams. The prize is usually from a sponsor of the team and is many times wine, chocolate or some other Swiss specialty. I received the award for this game. It was pretty interesting to say the least. Apparently Boncourt does not have anything cool in it or does not have any good sponsors. I received a basket that resembled a grocery basket from Kroger. In my "award" I had: Special K cereal, black cherry jelly, pasta, biscuits, orange juice, iced tea, some kind of cookie, canned mushrooms and a chocolate bar. It was pretty awesome because I do not need to go to the grocery store this week.
Anyways, we have two games this week. One is against Luzern on Wednesday for the Swiss Cup and then we play a regular season game on Sunday against Meyrin Grand Sacconex at home. I'll provide a game preview some time this week because my friend Karon Bradley plays from Meyrin. Until then........