After losing in the semis, we were paired in the consolation game against AOC Rond, the team we’d tied in the preliminaries. They’d lost to WOOM (the reigning world champions) by 3 points in the other bracket. (That was quite a game, with AOC coming back from a 10-point deficit, and getting a good 3-point shot at the buzzer which bounced off the rim). We knew we were well-matched and that we’d have to play our best game to win.
We changed up the starting lineup a bit, bringing in Frank (who AOC Rond hadn’t played against) and Jimbo to give us a different look. Both teams started off well, working their offenses and getting good shots. Adam “Adamatic” was on fire for us, hitting a number of open looks as we worked the ball around, and our size down low with Mark and Frank gave us a number of offensive rebound and layup opportunities. We stayed ahead the entire first half, mostly by 4 or 6 points, and went into halftime up by 2.
The second half started similarly, with both teams working for scoring opportunities and making baskets. We retained our 2-6 point lead in much the same way we had in the first half; down low scoring and outside shots from Adam. The game changed, though, when foul trouble started to assert itself. It had been a physical game, and Mark picked up his fourth foul on a questionable call; we sent him to the bench and switched to a three-guard lineup. Then, AOC’s best shooter picked up his fourth foul trying to steal the ball from Lance, and soon after that earned a technical foul (and a permanent spot on the bench) by throwing his unicycle across the court protesting a non-call on a ball pickup (also by Lance).
With about six minutes left we had a seven-point lead, and we started to work on the clock. And for the first time, our offense really started to click; when we were intentionally trying to slow the game down, we finally had the patience to really run the motion offense and wait for a great shot. Adam hit a few more open shots, our defense clamped down, and our lead slowly grew. By the end we had the game in control, winning by 12, 54-42.
It was great to finish with a win against a good team, and to see us execute our offense the way we know we can. We’ll be working towards the next world championship (in Montreal in 2014), and we may try to get a team together to travel to France to compete in one of their five yearly tournaments. Getting to play uni basketball against solid opponents is a rare opportunity; we had a great time here in Italy, and we can see more what we’ll need to do to take home the title.
Viva la Revolution!