Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sometimes, even when you lose, you win.

I'm at least a week overdue with this post, but I assure you it's for a reason greater than my admitted predilection for procrastination. But before I divulge the chaos that has recently encroached on my life, I will briefly update you on the basics first.

After dropping two in a row, we went to Halle hopeful of halting our losing skid. Instead, we got our butts handed to us and left with our most frustrating loss to date, arguably. I had 10 points and 7 rebounds. We returned home, determined to find a solution and get back on track leading into our next game. Grasping for any explanation and resolution, Vlasti tailored our practice schedule for the following week to promote additional rest and fresher legs, temporarily suspending tuesday and thursday night practices. While I was adamantly against this initially, I can't deny I went into our game against Freiburg noticeably revitalized. We beat Freiburg in what became a defensive battle, as both teams struggled to score (we held them to 48 points). I finished with 17 and 7 and we welcomed Roli back into the line-up, which was undeniably a substantial spark.

Next was a short road trip to Osnabruck and we were eager to pick up another win. Although we beat them earlier in the season by 40, we suspected this game would be much closer. Sure enough, this game came down to the final seconds and fortunately we ended up stealing this win down the stretch with gritty defense and clutch shooting. I had 24 points and 4 assists. Finally, yesterday we headed to Wasserburg on the other side of the country in what was a miserable 9 hour road trip. Wasserburg is in first place by a mile, so this was a huge opportunity for us and we were definitely motivated by circumstances of late. Brimming with energy and motive, we jumped out to a nice lead, but at half that lead was trimmed to 3. We got down in the 3rd by double digits but came roaring back and kept it close till the final minutes. With 30 seconds left, we found ourselves down 3 but unable to get a stop, despite our efforts. After starting ice cold and missing my shots in the first half, they finally began to drop and I finished with 26 points 5 rebounds and 5 assists. We lost by 4.

So why the drama and theatrics, you ask? Beats me, but it seems like wherever I go these days, instability follows, and this season has been no exception. The past 2 weeks have been especially volatile. Where oh where to begin--how about with the most unfortunate turn of events. Just before our Osnabruck game, we found out 2 things: first, our management neglected to pay league fees and, subsequently, the league penalized our team with a 5 point deduction (essentially erasing 3 wins); second, they didn't pay the fees because they had no money, and so we also wouldn't be getting paid.
First things first--the point deduction. I don't think I need to tell you how damaging this is to our playoff hopes and our ultimate goal of winning the championship. That significant deduction dropped us from 3rd place to 7th overnight, and only the top 8 teams qualify for playoffs. As to the matter of our salaries again not being paid, this would prove to be a bigger issue. Loooooooong story short, after a week of failed negotiating and uncertainty, Wednesday night, when we should have been practicing and preparing for Wasserburg, we were instead being informed that our management would be filing for bankruptcy the following day and our season was over. Yikes. Things went from bad to worse, and as always, I felt totally futile. Of course, as with any story, there is more to it with multiple sides and angles, but seeing as this is MY blog, you'll just be getting the one side, cause frankly, the other one, the one our management tried to argue, is b-o-l-o-g-n-a.
While I would love to give you all the dirt and expose all the diabolical details leading to that meeting and the meetings we would have the following nights, wherein our management removed the proverbial foot from their mouth to eat their words, I won't. I will simply say that, by the grace of God and through the steadfastness of this team, we are still together and our goals are still alive (and somehow, we got paid).

This week has been an exhausting emotional roller-coaster, but Saturday is exactly why I love this game. As we stepped on the court to play in Wasserburg, everything else stopped, everyone else disappeared; it was just us and Vlasti and our goal; there were no deductions, no bankruptcy threats and no grudges--just ten girls who love this game and one man who believes in them, and in those forty minutes, we were winners. And that's really the divine value of sports--sometimes, even when you lose, you win.

1 comment:

  1. Well that's a rude kick in the nads. Your team is working so hard. Keep the spirit up, win games and never stop hounding mgmt. I'm so mad I could spit into the wind. Actually that's what gives my hair that shiny bounce.