Daily Wrap

Posted on: Monday, 11 July 2016 at 10:49:34 AM

11th July 2016 - Day 4

After the morning's breakfast it became clear to the FG management that there was a definite competitive vibe within the group in the lead up to this afternoons basketball competitions and intensive training sessions for the Athletics WA squad. After four days of settling into the rhythm of Shanghai, taking advantage of tourist destinations and becoming accustomed to the local cuisine, the athletes were ready to compete. 

Athletics:

Day Four saw the Athletics WA squad begin their first full day of preparation ahead of their competition against the Chinese for the 2016 Friendship Games.

The morning began with a well earned recovery session at the pool where the athletes discovered first hand the cultural differences between China and Australia. After getting the boys to change out of board shorts, as they were not deemed swimwear by the Chinese life guards, the athletes went through a pool and stretching session with the WA coaches. The levity of the moment was not lost on the team, especially as the team managers had to use umbrellas to avoid getting wet as they walked through the spraying fountains above the change room doors.  Everyone that swims in that pool gets a free shower on the way in!

The afternoon session gave the athletes their first taste of China’s national athletics team training base, the No.2 Sports School of Shanghai. Due to poor weather conditions the athletes were fortunate enough to gain access to one of China’s elite indoor training facilities. There, the athletes were introduced to their Chinese event coaches, all of whom were either Chinese national champions or Olympic representatives.  Some even are still Asian record. 

With little time for a reprieve the athletes began an intense two-hour training session which saw them work through a variety of new drills with their respective coaches. Ranging from mobility to strength and endurance, the Chinese coaches tested the athlete’s abilities and introduced the WA juniors to the standard of training China’s elite go through. If the intensity of their new training situation wasn’t felt, it certainly became apparent when a contingent of the Chinese Olympic team entered the facilities and began their training in preparation of the Rio Olympics including the womens 4 x 100m team that is favoured to challenge for a medal.

The athletes enjoyed the challenge and were determined to go toe-to-toe with their junior Chinese counterparts. WA sprinters Cooper Walawski and John Ackermann endured a gruelling strength session, while javelin throwers Jack Stanton and Lara Ilievski were introduced to a new experience of the throwing javelins in an indoor facility. However it was Jade Whyte who walked away with the biggest grin. After working closely with her sprints event coach, she was able to claim the first personal best of the trip with a 12.85 in the 100m. Well done Jade!

WA’s athletes will return to the No.2 Sports School of Shanghai on Day Five and continue their preparation ahead of their first competition on Wednesday afternoon.  Good luck WA!

pool sessionCoachruns

Girls Basketball:

The first game of the Friendship Games at the Shanghai Sports Institute is where the Shanghai Sharks Basketball Team train, when walking onto the courts the excitement and competitive spirit could be felt by everyone in the group. The Binar Girls Basketball sized up against the professional women's junior team of Shanghai - the Chinese team were all very tall and their youngest player at 17 years of age, our girls knew they had a tough game ahead. With a quick warm up the girls were keen to play, the coaches reassured the girls that they need to play with their strengths and overall give it their best no matter the score. Going up against this team was not about the score but an excellent learning curve for our basketball - taking in the way that an elite professional team play and working hard to still put up a strong fight. 

Unfortunately, the scoreboard got away from us in the first quarter which the Chinese saw as a window to continue to drive to the ring and pass the ball with sheer athleticism. Although the scoreboard was slightly disheartening at first, the Binar girls still gave it a serious whack! Our girls gave the Chinese girls a run for their money, making fast breaks, quick passes, strong outside shots and worked hard on defence - with one of our girls, who is only 5"5, successfully boxing out a Chinese girl who was no smaller than 6"3 more than twice! It was a physically tough game, getting pushed and shoved but the girls kept on playing hard.

Despite the end result, the scoreboard did not do the Binar Girls any justice - the determination to continue playing and push on through tough conditions unfortunately isn't captured on a stat sheet or a scoreboard. The girls gave it a great first effort and will take all that they learned from this game to use in tomorrows game! 

Boys Basketball:

Special guest report written by Andrew Vlahov 

Basketball Report - David and Goliath match up!

The basketballers arrived at the Shanghai Sports Institute which is the training facility for the professional Shanghai Sharks team, owned by NBA Superstar and China’s most famous sporting star Yao Ming.
We walked in and saw a group of young men training – very big lads!! They were the junior professional team of the Shanghai Sharks. These guys are all aspiring professionals between 19-22 years of age. Our boys are 14-17 years old. What looked like an unfair match up, turned into the game of the Year!!

A nervous start from the Binar boys saw them dig themselves a bit of hole…more like a grave…and got down 17-2 in the first 5 minutes. At the next time out, Adam Desmond (coach) got the boys together and told them to settle in, keep focused and play to their strengths (speed and agility). Our first 3 pointer dropped, then a drive for 2 and then another two 3 pointers in succession and then the team caught fire. The team defense went to another level and before you could say “Binar is amazing” the boys were leading 18-17!!  Wow!!!

They had just completed an 18-0 run…Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and the entire Golden State Warriors would have been impressed with the skill, effort, tenacity and sheer competitive spirit that Binar brought to the table, let me tell you!!!

I have seen many games in my time, but few have given me more pleasure than to watch that comeback in the face of significant adversity and then go on and take the game right to them for all 4 quarters!!
There was only 2 points in it at the half, we had a small lead at 3/4 time and were even up 5 with 4 minutes left in the game. The Shanghai team were seriously worried but to their credit they managed to steady the ship and come away with some tough buckets that got them a win.

This game I will remember for a long time. It was a game where the “easy way out” would have been to throw in the towel and just play it out. Not Binar…no sirreee. I cannot convey in the right words how proud I was to watch these guys compete against professional men and nearly pull out a miracle win. The end result was not important, what was important was the character showed by the group. Truly courageous. Truly impressive. Truly Binar.

Final Score: Shanghai Sharks 76- Binar Basketball 71

Final score for the boy's game

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