A Mid Season Update

Updated: december 11, 2017

Written by Christopher Wilson: Player for Heren Mannen Senioren Promotiedivisie
Coach for Heren Mannen U18 Eredivisie

It was a last second shot… But, we can get back to that later.

ZATERDAG 2 DECEMBER 2017 – 17:45 De Groene Uilen MSE 1 vs Landslake Lions MSE 1 : 84 – 83

An American, an Italian, a spaniard, and a Lithuanian, all grouped together for the Heren 1 professional Dutch team residing in the quiet town of Landsmeer, nestled just outside of Amsterdam. Quite an international flavor to a roster of ten players. Somehow finding themselves under the tutelage of the newly appointed head coach Milko Lieverst. The previous year, he was the assistant coach and the Landslake Lions were champions. Run by a head coach who had aspirations of making the leap to eredivisie league status. Unfortunately those dreams did not reach maturation this year, with the coach resigning and the team losing seven players, Milko was tasked with rebuilding. Through networking, charm, and social media he was able to wrangle in a few international strays to be a part of this years team. Melding with a few returning players, and some young up and coming talents, the 2017 roster was formed. Now the team is gelling and everyone is working on finding their roles as we push through the season.

From a personal perspective the experience so far has been rewarding. Traveling to a foreign country, learning a new system and style of basketball and integrating those techniques into a cohesive unit has had its ups and downs, naturally. Progress is being made at every turn and the Landsmeer organization has been there every step of the way. Coming from a brief stint in the Fiba league in Mexico, it has been a luxury to connect with a group of guys who care most about winning as a team and buying into the system; a culture that should permeate through all the teams represented by the organization.

Flash forward to Saturday night, an awaited battle against the rival team of Groningen. For Landslake it was an important game for us in order to chase a top four standing. Holding control of the tempo for most of the game, a few lapses in defense the team found themselves down by two with under a half minute to go. Then there was a defensive steal! a pass up ahead to Julian Jaring who knocked down the three pointer. Landslake leads! The last second shot seemed to seal victory and make up for previous mistakes. All the team needed was a defensive stop. Following a timeout, the opponent makes a hard drive to the basket, the defensive was sound, a shot went up…Blocked! but a whistle was blown. A foul had occurred, now Groningen found themselves on the line. Both free throws sinked. The clock ran out and an important victory was taken from Landslake in the blink of an eye.

Milko rallied the troops following the game. Turning our attentions to looking ahead noting that the pieces assembled will fall into place and we can bounce back in our pursuit to a final four finish.

The following Monday, much to our surprise, in walks a new player whom was invited to practice with us, another american, a former professional player in Germany. The final piece to the Landslake international puzzle? Time will surely tell…