After two days of touring, sightseeing, and a ridiculous amount of waffle eating (Brett’s current waffle count: 16), the day of our first game finally arrived. After our late work out the previous night we slept in a little bit later than usual, hoping to be rested for our day trip to the U.S. Embassy and our game later that night. Although this trip to the Embassy was not on the itinerary, our guide Seymour pulled some strings to get us in for a last minute visit with Robert J. Faucher, the Deputy Chief of Mission. Mr. Faucher spoke to us about the embassy’s role in Belgium, and some of the benefits of life as a diplomat. He also gave us some awesome lapel pins with American and Belgium flags, and a book detailing the history of the relationship between Belgium and the United States.
After the embassy we found a sandwich shop that was amazingly cheap (clearly they didn’t realize we were stupid tourists and that they could have raised the prices when we walked in and we never would have complained), and then we headed back to the hotel to rest up before our game. At 630pm we boarded our bus and set out for Ghent, arriving at the Ghent Dragons’ gym (and by gym we really mean recreation center) around 8pm. We quickly realized that we have been spoiled by the GIAC (for those of you who don’t know, this is the Gardner Integrated Athletic Center, where we play our games at Haverford), and had a lot of trouble adjusting to the double rims, tile floors, and icing cauld temperatures of the locker room and gym.
As is to be expected, our first game of the 2012-13 season had its share of rough patches. We had some difficulty adjusting to the new rules. For example, we were forced to learn the hard way that you can’t inbound the ball into the backcourt and apparently in Belgium it’s illegal to pass the ball to someone standing out of bounds (there were about four different line markings on the sidelines, making it very difficult to tell what was in-bounds). We continued to fight despite our early struggles, though we ended up falling in a tight, hard-fought match. The hot shooting and crisp ball movement of the Dragons ultimately proved to be too much. While it was a tough loss, we are confident that we can bounce back tonight in our game against the Antwerp Giants.
- Eli , Geoff, and Mark the photographer