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September 23, 2006 at 10:04 pm #8145
The Captain says:
The Harvey Norman NZ Breakers media manager wanted me to devote this column to the difficulties of a New Zealand club playing in an Australian league.
“Deano,” I said. “It’s not going to happen. It will look like we’re making excuses for losing on the road.”
“Pauli, you played last Wednesday night in a tough match-up against the Razorbacks and you then had to travel to Brisbane and back up just three nights later. That’s tough.”
“But,” I replied, “every team has to back up. Remember back in Round 7, we played the Melbourne Tigers on a Thursday and then in Adelaide just two nights later. That was even harder, but we weren’t talking about fatigue then. Was it because we won both games or because Adelaide had actually played in Sydney the night before, so were doing it even tougher – playing games on consecutive nights in two different cities?
“Besides,” I added, “sometimes playing games in quick succession helps get your rhythm going and you can get on a roll. Brisbane doesn’t play again until December 17, a break of 15 days, and they could find themselves rusty and lacking match fitness. It’s swings and roundabouts and you just have to cope.”
“But look at the time zone differences Pauli. Brisbane doesn’t have daylight saving, so they’re three hours behind New Zealand. That means last Saturday night’s match against the Bullets started at 10.40pm New Zealand time and finished well after midnight. Surely you’re body is telling you that it’s bed time?”
“Deano, we’re playing in six different time zones during this championship, but because we’re professional athletes and do everything right from a nutrition, fitness and travel perspective we should be able to handle anything thrown at us.”
Still he laboured the point: “But against Brisbane you were only three points down with little more than six minutes to play and the team gave up a season high 27 turnovers during the game. Don’t tell me fatigue wasn’t an issue.”
“The bottom line,” I stressed, “is that we train hard to ensure we’re up for any challenge and we always felt we were in the contest against Brisbane, regardless of the time zone factor.”
He shrugged his shoulders and then smiled. “Okay, okay I get the drift. How about you do the column on Thursday night’s match-up against Cairns being our penultimate home game of the year on the North Shore?”
“Hmmm, that’s right,” I replied. “It’s the last home game before our four-match away trip taking in Perth, Singapore and back to back games in Melbourne.”
“Sounds way tough,” he smirked. “But we won’t talk about that…”
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