Team Preston take Spain by storm
Guest Post - Wednesday, 12th March, 2014
This week we’ve taken the team over to Spain for a residential training trip, providing them with the experience of warm weather training, alongside some games against local teams. Basketball is a big sport in Spain and many of you may not know but both Barcelona and Real Madrid have their own basketball teams – so this is the perfect place to come to.
We’re in a town called L’Alfàs del Pi which is near Alicante and so far we’ve had some great experiences including a victory in our first game – the first time a visiting British basketball team has won here. I am immensely proud of what the lads have achieved so far, and there’s more to come with another game on Thursday!
For many of the team, this is their first trip abroad to play and I have to say that their attitude and enthusiasm has really shone through – even when I’ve had them in the gym at 7am, reiterating that this isn’t a holiday!
Following the morning gym session we took a run up a small hill in the baking sunshine, led by our kind hosts. As you’ll see from the picture of the hill, it was no mean feat, but we still found time to look chilled for a snap at the top!
Hills and sunshine are no match for Team Preston. We smashed it and we still look so chilled.
We’ve been really enjoying the warm weather and by the time we got back, we were definitely ready for a cool down so most of the lads hit the pool – some cooled down a bit too much:
During the week, I lined up two games for the team, and we played the first last night (Tuesday). No British team has ever come here and won, and as anyone who knows me and this team will tell you, we like to break those kind of records. I made sure we hit the gym on the day of the game and the lads were looking sharp in practice, I could tell this was going to be a good day.
The Alfas team are strong and they draw their players from all over the world, Argentina and Ukraine to name a few. We knew this was going to be a game up there with the toughest we’ve faced so far but it must have been the sunshine or the Spanish air but we were on fire! We dominated the game from the start and each man contributed to a great team performance. By half-time we were leading by more than 20 points and ended the half with this:
We didn’t let up after half-time and I could really see how we’ve come on in terms of our teamwork and our stamina to maintain a high level of performance right through to the end. We finished up 77-47 winners overall and we’re now excited to move on to Thursday where we’ll play the senior team – who are looking to turn professional next year. That will be the real test for us and if we can get a good result from that we’ll be in the groove heading into the National Finals in Bath at the end of the month.
There’s a real great team spirit with this group and I’m proud to have them all on the Team Preston journey – they have raised the funds for the trip themselves through community fundraising, bag-packs, car washes and more. That team spirit and the determination they show is evidenced by our status as North West champs, our position in the league and the Highly Commended Certificate we were presented with at the Preston Sports Awards. Even if it did mean they looked like this the whole ride over to Spain: