Austria international Rasid Mahalbasic blogs on FIBAEurope.com as the national team of the Alpine nation is getting ready for the EuroBasket Qualification Round
|With the Qualification Round starting in less than two weeks, Rasid Mahalbasic and his teammates are gaining valuable experience in friendly games.|
Hello, it's me again,
The last couple of weeks were very busy.
We had a practice camp for about 10 days in Steinbrunn, where we tried to get ready for the first games this summer.
On 25 July, we had our first scrimmage against Germany.
It wasn't just a big game for me, because Germany is one of the best teams in Europe, but also because it was my first game after my injury some months ago.
Players like Tibor Pleiß, Robin Benzing and Jan-Hendrik Jagla are very talented players and they are led by Svetislav Pesic, a very experienced coach.
The first half of the game was very close and we tried to stay on their level (26:31), but we lost our concentration in the second half.
The German national team played constantly well for 40 minutes and that made it hard for our team to catch up.
At the end we lost the game by 23 points (40:63).
After the loss, we had one day before playing the four-nation-tournament in Oberwart.
It was the first time for Austria to host a tournament with top teams, namely Israel, Portugal and Germany.
We knew that the tournament was going to be tough for our team but we tried to play as hard as we could to have a chance to win at least one game.
After the heavy defeat to Germany two days before, we even had to face a better team in Israel.
Although everybody knew that we were the underdogs in this game, we didn't show fear in the first quarter and outscored them 27:12.
After the good start, Israel came back very quickly and we had to abandon the field again as losers (70:95).
Our opponent in the second game of the tournament was Germany again. Although we played much better than in the first game, we lost 81:98.
Last but not least we faced Portugal.
In that game, we showed that we are able to stay focused for the entire game.
We played as a team and therefore were able to beat Portugal by four points (69:65).
With this big win, we got a lot of confidence for the upcoming games and reached our goal for the four-nation-tournament.
To sum up, this tournament was very productive for us and helped us a lot to improve our game.
Besides that, we had a big audience who supported us during the whole tournament and I think that tournaments like this will encourage more and more people to watch basketball.
On top of that we could properly prepare for the Qualification Round in August, since the teams are not getting weaker there.
I hope I could provide you with an insight into the tournament.