Team correspondent junior guard Chris Galvin's report:
BARCELONA, SPAIN -- The Ephs were able to manage their second win of the week, capturing a 75-72 contest against Mataro Parc Boet. Prior to the game, the Eph team had a long day well spent in Barcelona.
Upon our arrival in the historic city, the team strolled through the tight alleys and walkways of Barcelona before arriving at Bo de B, a hole-in-the-wall positioned just next to the ocean. The entire team had baguettes stuffed with chicken or beef and all the fixings. Peppers, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes...you name it, and it was probably on the sandwich, but the ladies working behind the corner in the cramped restaurant were working some magic. If you ever find yourself lost and hungry in Barcelona, ask around for Bo de B, and prepare yourself for the best cheap meal you'll have in the city.
Bellies full and spirits rising, we roamed the city looking for the best deals on clothes that we could easily buy online or back home, but hey--it's Barcelona. The architecture alone offered by the city is gorgeous. Walk too far one way, and you're bound to run into Antoni Gaudi's work. Gaudi's most brilliant achievement is the impressive basilica Sagrada Familia. We finally made our way to the giant basilica nuzzled within the city.
If you visit Barcelona, you will see the Sagrada Familia. It is quintessential Barcelona. The church stands as one of the most intricate, unusual, and beautiful buildings in the world. From the lavishly decorated exterior that depicts scenes from the birth of Christ to his ascension into heaven to the riveting (shout out to Doug Picard) designs and lighting of the interior, the basilica is truly the most original building I've ever stepped foot in. I'm no world traveller, but when you stand outside places like the Sagrada Familia and take in all the intricate details running all the way up to the giant bell towers and then your mouth drops when you step foot inside, I can completely understand how people get bitten by the "travel bug." Maybe most impressively, the church is still under construction after over a hundred years of work. Gaudi wasn't even able to see the final product of his greatest achievement. Remarkable.
|Ephs & Mataro Parc Boet|
Eventually, the Ephs limped into the basketball arena, legs drained but spirits high. The gym
was so humid, I felt like I was swimming. I was in a full sweat from changing into my uniform.
The game itself was marked by some fantastic offensive play by the Ephs, but also by some defensive hiccups. By halftime, we had built a12-point lead that persisted until about midway through the fourth quarter. Down the stretch, Daniel Aronowitz and Bobby Casey kept the Ephs ahead, scoring 30 and 17 points on the night respectively. Aronowitz made huge baskets in the last few minutes to keep the Ephs on top. Marcos Soto, Jake Porath, and Michael Kempton all rebounded well, but Soto collected some key rebounds down the stretch to secure the victory.
Head coach Kevin App handed the reigns over to assistant coaches Brian Emerson and Justin Bradley for the match-up. Coach Emerson handled the timeouts and offensive and defensive assignments, and coach Bradley worked the substitutions.
Coach App explained his decision, stating, "This trip is all about providing the team with experiences to grow personally and as a group. Coaches Emerson and Bradley are a huge part of our program, and I decided this would be a unique growth opportunity for each of them, as well as myself. Similarly, as our group continues to grow together, the players need to be able to lead from within and handle different circumstances. From our starters to the guys not playing, I couldn't have been more pleased with the way they responded. Brian and Justin showed why they would be great head coaches one day, and our team showed tremendous internal leadership. I was a proud coach tonight".
Coach App frequently reminds us that no matter what he says or the assistants say the players have to play and figure out a way together. We have to rely on ourselves and communicate with each other to win games. Trust is a pillar of Williams basketball, and trust allowed us to gain a new perspective on our play, win a close game without our head coach, and rely on each other to be victorious. Coaches Emerson and Bradley showed tremendous poise and tactical savvy. With their roles taking on added pressure, they stepped up for the occasion and did an excellent job.
Junior guard Cole Teal, who scored 12 points in the game, said, "as we expected with a late tipoff after a long day, our legs began to fail us in the fourth quarter. But our will to win, and reliance on communication, and defensive stops towards the end of the game secured the victory."
In his varsity head-coaching debut, Brian Emerson noted, "the guys showed a lot of toughness with how hard they played after a long day of touring Barcelona and a late start time. It was great to see the team come together down the stretch in a tough environment, and they looked even more comfortable with each other on the court in just their second game together since last season."
The Ephs will face off one last time in Spain on Saturday at 12:30 EST.