Ali Oop: Belgrade Here We Come!

21 January 2010

 Alexander Seggelke (Artland Dragons)Alexander Seggelke is a guard/forward for the Artland Dragons of the German BBL. This season his team will compete in EuroChallenge and he will write about the experience regularly for 

After a tough first half of the season coach gave us four days off this week!  I almost didn't know what to do with myself, but it gave me a rare opportunity to see some friends back home which was nice.

The reason for the break is that it's All-Star Week in the German league.  The game will take place on the 23rd of January at the Telekom Dome in Bonn.  I'm sorry to say that I wasn't selected for the team, but there will be a few guys representing Artland and I wish them the best of luck.

It's been a while since we last spoke, but over a week ago now we wrapped up the Regular Season with a win over the Austrian team Wels at home.  We started kind of slow, but picked up our game in the second half and in the end we won by 11 points.

It was one of those games that really drives home for me what the most important thing is for our team, passion and energy.  When we have those two things we are a very difficult team to beat.  We have so many talented players that scoring is never going to be a problem for us; the difficulty comes when we are low on energy and our defense suffers.  This has happened to us a few times this season and it inevitably effects our offense.  Bottom line is the more energy we have the better defense we play, which leads to more efficient offense, which results in wins. 

I hope we can keep the focus and energy we have had lately when we travel to Belgrade next week for our first game of the Last 16.  We'll be making two trips to that part of the world as we also have KK Zagreb in our group.  The last team in the group is Belgacom Liege, but if their final game had turned our differently we could have ended up with a trip to Krasnoyarsk, which is over 3,000 km east of Moscow!

Personally I was rooting for Krasnoyarsk to be in our group because it seems like a fascinating place, and when will I ever get the opportunity to go again?  I recently bought myself a 1989 VW T3 which is like a little van or bus.  I use it to travel around Europe, and this summer I'm thinking about taking it to Norway, but I'm not sure is would make it all the way to Krasnoyarsk.  Maybe when I get a new bus with a few less miles on it I can give it a try. 

While I didn't get my wish to go to Russia for the next round I have to admit that strictly from a basketball perspective it is really hard to travel that far and expect to win, so maybe we are better off in the end.

I expect that playing in Serbia and Croatia will be really exciting because those are two countries that really love their basketball.  I have never been to either place, but I'm looking forward to it, and I hope we can come away with a win.

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