I know I havent been writing as much as the beginning of this journey besides little game recaps. The main reason is that I am mostly focused on the games and trying to rest as much as possible. We’ve been staying in our rooms mostly in dead time just laying there and for myself, visualizing. Today we are playing another team that we know very little about. Turkey. Watching the team video that our coaches prepared for us, we felt confident that we were going to be able to win this game.
In the warm-up of the game, I felt something strange with my shot. I was powerless. The ball felt heavy, and the basket felt higher when I shot in warm up. I had to force the shot just to make a free throw. I tried not to let it affect my mental part of my game so I blocked it out of my head. When the game started, I hit the first shot. It was a 45 degree post shot outside the right side of the key. My shot felt fine then so I thought I was ok now until, my team called a play for me where I had to shoot a 3 and hit nothing but AIR. Thats right, I shot a an Air ball so bad, that I thought it was going to fall short right in the middle of the key. I felt it right on the release. A couple of possessions later I shot another Air ball but his time it was a 15 footer. Yep, something was definetly wrong with my shot. There was no power at all in my arms. I know why though that happenned. Since we’ve been in Birmingham, I changed a little my pre-game routine. I’ve added way more stretching. A mixture of static and dynamic stretching. I over did it this time doing way more static stretching. That is why before a game or workout, we usually do dynamic stretching and keep the static stretching at the end. Research shows that long static stretching unhooks the part of the muscle fibers that is responsible for muscle contraction which in return, diminishes muscle contraction speed. In other words, it diminishes power output.
Anyways, the Algerian gave us a challenge in the first half. The scouting reports on Algeria showed us that 80% of they’re points come from they’re #5 player. He can shoot from anywhere. We even shot shoots like 5 feet behind the 3 point line and hitting that shot on a very high percentage. The kind of shot I love taking. We had the chance to witness one of those long 3 pointers of his when he successfully, effotlessly, made one at the buzzer of the end of the first quarter. We had a team objective to keep him at 18 points in the game. He had 38 points against Mexico and we chose 18 because that is what he scored on Australia. That objective was going to be hard to achieve because after the first quarter, he already had 15 points.
At the half with the Algerians, the score was tied 31-31. But we did not panick even though the score was tied because we knew we were in a worst position yesterday and prevailed. And we were going to do the same on this day but this time, it was another line-up that was going to do it for us. Dirt came right at the first possession of the 2nd half and made a 3 giving us the lead and the tempo to win this game. That shot gave us momentum and confidence to our team to keep moving, while Turkey just dissapeared slowly. Adam Lancia added a game high 21 points. The lineup that started the 2nd half played so hard on Offense and Defense, that not only that we won the game, they kept our objective to keep #5 to 18 points a success cause they shut him down and he never came back in the game. He finished with 17 points. Even I, when I saw the floor again, I seemed to have regained some power and made some shots.
Thats the beauty of our team, we are not a one player team. On any day, anybody can step up on our team. I love this team.
We won 69-60.
Tomorrow it will be a tough game as we will face our nemesis, the Australians.