Here is my report on how the challenge was met.
Well, we started shortly after 5:00pm. About 14 people were present, which was fun since everybody rotated in periorically, to give everyone a touch of the ball. This was welcome rest for the people who rotated out as well. Remember that we are at altitude here…. it takes a lot of effort to do physical things which would be much more trivial at sea level, the altitude we’re all more used to.
The Phenoms had people like Csaba Csaki, Jushua Erlich, Dan Pratt, Hsin-Chia Cheng, and Carlos Wagner and another couple of people whose names I’ll try to get for you…
The Strings deployed our main secret weapon, David Kutasov, along with solid offensive support from, Ofer Aharony and Jaume Gomis. With that trio up front, we should have been safe all the time…
… but the Phenoms had some strong opposition, which meant that we had our work cut out for us. With David Berenstein, Jason Kumar (who can also actually shoot consistenly and so kept the other side guessing) and myself trying to move the ball around to feed it to our people at the front, both teams kept within one point of each other for most of the game.
We’d started playing half-court, since there was another game going on….
… but eventually (for better or worse) we moved to full court after the others left, which allowed more people to play at the same time. Then we faced the biggest enemy of all, the running at altitude:
This wore us all down, and I think the problem was that by time a team would get the ball all the way up to the other basket, they’d be too tired to focus on a good combination to force a score. So there were several rather wild shots and wasted opportunities on both sides, but we did have fun, which was the point! Sometimes we did do some good combinations, to be fair, but we still did not always finish. The breath and legs of our star shooters were beginning to fail, and so those jumpshots and drives to the basket were low on the percentage success rates.
At some point, we realized that nobody had been keeping track of the score for a while (this led to jokes about us fiddling around with all sorts of fancy strategies with nobody worrying about the actual measurements), and so since we were probably within a point of each other, we all agreed that we’d reset to an matched score of 0-0 and play on, keeping track from there on. This was about the same time that the Strings started getting things together. We had a couple of great fast break attempts, one of which came off, but more tellingly for the long term we started getting lots more rebound attempts, whcih compensated for our low shot percentage. (After we had a point where Jaume Gomis and David Kutasov managed to get a point after several attempts back and forth between them under the basket, I made a joke attempt about 10^500 vacua as we ran back…. I don’t think David was amused….!)
In this way, the Strings pulled to two points ahead, and we were looking good. Click to continue reading this post