Digesting the Xmas turkey in Worcester

Back from Xmas break (five days) – and it was a slow ‘turkey digesting’ game at Worcester Arena on Sunday.

Return to BBL action after the exciting Riders vs Wolves game on Tuesday – it was Wolves vs Force at the Arena.

Force post game comments

Paul Guede
Paul Guede
Remi Dibo
Remi Dibo

 

No chance of installing/testing the remote cameras today – due to holiday period basketball camps being run at the Arena before the tip-off. Now we just hope that the Wolves vs Eagles game will be played on the 9th of January to give a final test run before BBL Cup Final at the Barclaycard Arena.

Alex Owumi
Alex Owumi

PJ post game Force

Jamall guarded
Jamall guarded

 

The game was a low scoring event – with neither team hitting the high gears, but in the end Wolves hit the BIG threes at the end – thanks to Remi Dibo, Alex Owumi and Jamall Williams (whose brother Kai had an extended Xmas break from Sweden and help commentating the game on BBC H&W).

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Memorable moments from the game were Kalil Irving slam-dunk on the first ten – which got the game and crowd warmed-up for few minutes. And on the last ten Chavis Holmes doing his best to emulate Jurgen Klinsmann 😉

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But – for this game, I let the coaches comments and pictures do the talking. I better clean the house for tomorrow….

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Riders and Wolves send BBL on Winter Holidays!

Perfect sending off to four days of Winter Holidays from Riders vs Wolves

Once again Loughborough Uni offered an exciting end to the BBL-TV game – as Leicester Riders and Worcester Wolves played the last game in the league before couple of days of rest for the players and fans.

Chavis Holmes

Wolves had Robert Thurman in the opening warm-up, but with him not taking any running steps, or jumps – it looked unlikely that the player would feature in the evenings game. But the Wolves had a new signing Paul Guede to add depth to the roster

Still – the Riders looked strong and before the game, it felt like a home win coming. Some sharp shooting from the visitors did give them a small cushion early in the game, something that they held onto for a long time.

Wolves might have been in the lead, but it was Riders new boy TrayVonn Wright who gave the crowd something to shout about – nice little slam and then even more spectacular Alley-Oop from the pass of Neil Watson… if those didn’t get your bum of the seats, not quite sure what would?

As the game progressed, Wolves short bench started to get into foul trouble – which in the end resulted Remi Dibo being called for his fifth foul.

Just when it seemed Riders were taking the game, with little less than four minutes on the clock – after big threes from Bernardini and Washington.. the game had one more swing to offer.

PJ – Riders vs Wolves

Wolves tightened their defence and allowed only 2 POINTS!! in the last 3 minutes and 48 seconds – partly helped by missed free throws.

Visitors themselves kept their hand steady from the bonus stripe and that proved to be enough to win the game.

Rashad Hassan missed two from the line as Riders held a one point lead – after which the Wolves played smart and went past.. and held on to get the points.

At the end of the game – you could once again see the passion for the game from Riders coach Paternostro as he rushed after the referees. Some great pictures of this – but, it is Xmas and I am a kind hearted fellow.. so those images can stay in the archives for later use.

 

BBL action – Wolves vs Lions

After spending three weeks abroad – it was nice to return to familiar territory with BBL action in Worcester.

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No remotes this time – more about covering from the usual point of view, as well as grabbing some post game interviews with the coaches and players.

Vince – post Wolves game

It was really enjoyable to see that some physical game was allowed at both ends of the court – even if it took coaches a while to adjust to this line of refereeing.

Rob Brown on Lions win

Tough news for home team before the game with Rob Thurman having to watch the game from the sidelines with an ankle ‘injury’. The player himself felt positive about possibly playing on Tuesday vs Riders away.

PJ on Wolves vs Lions

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With little inside presence the Wolves needed to shoot from the outside to keep the game alive. Lions took the first strides in the game and quickly took a double digit lead (Drew Sullivan with some BIG threes). But it was the home team that landed the last three of the half reducing the gap just the little .. which meant that despite being behind, the Wolves could go to the locker room happy.

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Big run from the home team on the third quarter and it was GAME ON – and the crowd were really getting behind the home team now. Wolves kept the initiative as Lions struggled to get points on the board and it looked like the Wolves might be pulling the result which before the start of the game would have been bit of a surprise.

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And when the Wolves snapped the lead with some sharp shooting from Jamal and Dizzy.. Lions were forced to call for time. This seemed to help as Lions went on a run to take a ‘two basket’ lead midway through the last ten.

As so often with close games, it came down to some free throws.. Lions had their chances to put the game beyond Wolves from the line – but missed at crucial times.. highly contested ball at Wolves offence went the way of Lions .. and this time their shooting was enough, and it was the away team that left the Arena with the points.

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Lions coach commented after the game “BBL is a tough league, and even if tonight isn’t Zaire’s night (tonight Zaire Taylor), or Drew’s night… we have lots of weapons in this team to win the games for us”

Top points scorer Rod Brown “We knew that with Thurman missing the ball was going to spend a lot of time in the hands of Holmes and Owumi – and we had to take care of that and keep them to less than their average scoring”

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Wolves coach PJ “With us missing the great inside presence of Thurman, we did have to change our approach to the game a little. But I think we played well and gave ourselves the chance to win the game in the end, but today the shots just didn’t fall for us”

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All images and video ©Ville Vuorinen / No use allowed without permission !!

Lassi Tuovi – always learning!

Interview with Lassi Tuovi (Assistant coach of Finnish National team – Susijengi – in Finnish)

Lassi Tuovin haastattelu (Suomeksi) – Nanterre, Ranska.

Lassi Tuovi – Nanterre, France

One of the Assistant Coaches of Finnish National Basketball team, Lassi Tuovi, has spent the autumn going around games in France and Germany and looking at the game from the stands. In which he calls a break from coaching for the autumn and also a learning experience.

It was an informed choice to do this says Tuovi, and adds – you can learn basketball (tactics) in many ways and seeing the game from a different point of view is refreshing. Also being invited to see EuroLeague games, etc has been a good way to learn new things with different teams. For a coach, to be able to observe how other coaches work is one of the best ways to learn new things – so I will definitely take something out of this autumn..

He also adds that as himself and Jukka Toijala (another assistant coach) are spending time traveling and seeing games – there might be some new ‘tricks’ to take back to the National Team with them, once the International seasons returns next summer.

Returning to the Wolfpacks experience in Spain2014 – he admits that as the team didn’t reach their goal, a slight disappointment is one of the feelings – especially when reaching the goal was ‘one basket away’. But after couple of extremely successful EuroBasket’s – maybe the World Cup 2014 in Spain might have left the team with little extra ‘hunger’ for the international competitions in 2015.

Lassi Tuovi – Nanterre, France