Richmond Knights at Globasket ’18!
After an amazing Globasket ‘17 experience, the Richmond Knights were keen to take on the 2018 tournament with a boys u12 and two boys u14 teams. This talented and hard-working group had high hopes for success at the tournament, and their performance didn’t disappoint as they impressed players and coaches from across Europe with their skill and team chemistry.
Alongside the basketball the boys would have a chance to enjoy the beautiful Spanish sunshine by the pool and beach, take a trip into one of Europe’s most amazing cities, Barcelona, spend leisure time in each others company and watch high level Euroleague action. There were some amazing memories formed on the trip from a variety of on and off-court experiences, and many that will be remembered fondly for years to come.
The group met at Gatwick early to get the 9:45 am Vueling flight to Barcelona. There was much excitement and many photos taken with the unveiling of the tour t-shirts, which set the tone for the good mood that everyone had whilst waiting for departure. After a smooth coach transfer to the hotel in Lloret de Mar, the players and coaches settled into their rooms, grabbed a late lunch and prepared to head for the beach.
In the late afternoon sun the team got their first taste of the sandy beach. Paddlers got wet, everyone was relaxed and sprint races got the tour off to a great start. After returning to the hotel for dinner, the teams gathered for the tour welcome meeting where objectives for the week, the schedule and tour rules were conveyed to the boys.
The early morning brought more teams to the tournament, bringing the numbers up to over 70 teams from over 15 countries. Time to start ballin’! The U13s were in a 7-team league and they opened up the tournament with a double header. Game 1, in the afternoon, was a tight game vs SKM Vilnius from Lithuania, in which they suffered a close 60-65 loss. Their evening game was equally as challenging, where they managed to battle out a 48-47 win against fellow English side Chesterfield Flight. The U12s opened with a solid win over Basket @ Sea, before the U14s slipped to an opening game defeat against the aforementioned Belgian club’s strong u14 that featured a couple of national team players.
The boys were hugely excited by the new experience they were having, what possibilities the tournament might hold for them and by the buzz around the hotel with teams constantly coming and going. After a busy first day’s play, the players and coaches dined in the hotel buffet and had an early night.
The morning started with a bang, as the teams headed straight into games with the U14s earning a solid 85-56 win over Kaunas from Lithuania, which helped to spur on the U13s to a big win over CB Ferreries of Spain. The U12 game was a thriller – Cluj Napoca from Romania were skilled ball-handlers and great shooters, up against the pace and attacking style of the young Knights. The game was close throughout before the gap widened in the closing minutes and Richmond ultimately fell 80-66. However the format of the 6-team league with a championship game on the last day gave the Richmond boys some hope that they may get the chance for revenge later in the tournament.
By early afternoon the games were done, and the sun was out which meant it was pool time! After the relaxation at the hotel pool, everyone made their way down to the local bowling alley and mini-golf course. The mini golf was highly competitive (with some extraordinarily low scores coming in!) and the bowling was a great laugh. This topped off a fantastic day where all the teams had settled into tournament life and were connecting really well.
An early start for the U12s saw them back to their winning ways with a solid victory vs Laguna Sharks, while the U13s notched up another big win against Dan Dacian from Romania. The U14s had a storming win over Cluj Napoca’s U13s, and after a surprise victory by Kaunas over Basket @ Sea the Knights finished top of their group with 2 wins and 1 loss, which gave them a seeded draw in the following day’s U14 elite quarter finals. With the sun still shining, the boys took to the beach to celebrate their wins, where they found themselves cast into the Globasket tournament video courtesy of the tournament film crew. Needless to say the boys loved being on camera! After dinner the players had an early night in preparation for a big day coming up.
Thursday was a huge day for all teams, with key group games for the U12s and U13s and a quarter final for the U14s. The U14s started the day off well with a hard fought win over Trudovye from Russia, while the U12s had a really good game against local London rivals Baltic Stars in front of a big and amped-up crowd. The game was played in great spirit with the Knights taking a grip of the game down the stretch and ending up 79-67 winners. The U13s battled it out with eventual category winners, TIBU from Morocco, who overpowered the British boys in the 4th to win the game 39-34.
After a quick lunch it was time for the Barcelona excursion! A 1 ¼ hour bus transfer took the boys to the heart of the Barcelona city centre, where they saw the Plaza de Catalunya, the Gothic quarter and La Rambla, and ultimately ended up at the NBA Café for Dinner. The boys were very excited as they checked out the VR free throw machine, the stars memorabilia and the height charts and hand prints of the best players in the NBA.
The delicious food at the NBA Cafe set them up nicely for the FC Barcelona v Khimki Moscow Euroleague game in the Palau Blaugrana arena, located next to the famous Camp Nou football stadium. Free t-shirts and flags as part of the game package got the boys ready for action. After a great game in which Barcelona held on to win, the bus returned a lot of tired Knights back to Lloret de Mar to finish off some fantastic memories from their day in Barcelona.
With a long and exhausting previous day and the sheer volume of games played already throughout the week, this day was always going to be a challenging one for the young Knights. All the teams were still battling for silverware so there was everything to play for. In the elite category the U14s faced a pressing Laguna Sharks team on a tight court. In a fast-paced game, the Sharks proved to be too strong for a talented and courageous Knights team that had fought and scrapped all week for their successful results. The Laguna Sharks would go on to win the BU14 tournament whilst the Knights U14s had a 3rd place to fight for against the Argentinians Tomas Rocamora the following day.
The U12s were a little sluggish after the Barcelona trip, but put on a show in the closing minutes of their contest with Manchester Giants to edge their Northern opponents 57-51. This secured them a spot in the U12 final against familiar foe Cluj Napoca, who had beaten them earlier in the week. In their 6th and final game of the week the U13s ground out a good win against the Swiss BBS Gland to finish 3rd in the league, a great result for their efforts. A last night’s dinner at the hotel finished up with some relaxation and bag packing before the finals day tomorrow.
In the 3rd place playoff the U14s came up against Tomas Rocamora from Argentina, and after a very close first half, the Argentinians ended up pulling away to grab a 65-53 win. The Knights U14 team played really well during the tournament against some of the toughest opposition, which will hopefully help their development both as individuals and as a collective. The team can take a tremendous amount of confidence in finishing 4th out of 16 teams in the category!
The U12 final was one to remember, with an end to end battle that kept all the spectators on their toes. At one point it looked as if Richmond had the game in hand, before Cluj fought back to send the game into overtime. Some huge shots were knocked down by both teams down the stretch, however Cluj got the stops they needed and knocked down a couple of key buckets to edge the game 70-74.The young Knights team were very unlucky to lose in the final, and should be very proud of their amazing Globasket achievement.
After the final games the tournament trophies and medals were awarded to the winners, runners-up and 3rd place in each category. Richmond Knights finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th in their categories, which alongside the cultural, leisure and team-bonding experiences hopefully offered a fantastic journey that they will remember for a lifetime.
We are now taking bookings for Globasket 19 !!!
Checkout the Globasket 19 tour page for more details