Friday, 9 July 2010

Bintulu Rainbows

I made it in safely to Bintulu Malaysia on the 5th of July and let me tell you, man am I happy to finally get to unpack my bag after a week or so of traveling hahaha! So now down to business....

We've been practicing twice a day to get ready for this month long season. Our first 3 games are this weekend starting tonight at 9pm against Kinasabah. We will be playing 3 games a weekend until the final weekend where it will be single game elimination for the playoffs (so we will play at least 9 games and possibly 12 at the most). The league is called the NBL (National Basketball League) and I am playing for the Bintulu Rainbows. There are only 4 teams in this month long league so we will get to play each one 3-4 times. This is the only professional league that Malaysia has so it's a big deal but only lasts a month or two at times (they are really trying to make basketball bigger here in this country but it takes time). There has already been a lot of media and newspaper attention about the games this weekend and they are expecting sold out crowds, should be fun!! My team is pretty young for the most part and the club is expecting this season to be a rebuilding one, but we are going to fight to win every game possible. All the guys are really cool and most of them speak fairly good english with the exception of a few that don't speak any and a few that speak it really well. All the people here in general speak at least a little bit of English, which once again makes me feel dumb because I ONLY speak English fluently (and a little bit of Spanish, but nothing to brag about)... It reminds me of when I was visiting Luxembourg where they spoke around 4 languages. I feel like most Americans are soooo dependant on other cultures being able to speak our language, where WE never learn other languages growing up (except maybe 1 year in middle school and 1-2 years in high school, but who ever "really" remembers that stuff and trys to become fluent in it).

So since I love to eat I gotta talk about the food!! It's basically AMAZING hahaha. Not only is it super cheap (at least to me cuz the US dollar exchange rate is so good, although the club is paying for my meals so its not like i gotta worry about spending money anyway) but it's really authentic and de-lish :) . I've already had numerous dishes and have tried some new things as well, but coming from Seattle where there is already such a big Asian cultural background and plenty of Chinese food to go around I pretty much am used to it. Still though, nothing like the "real deal"!

This month is really going to fly by with practices and/or games basically everyday, but I think it will be a lot of fun and I'll have many memories from my time here. If all goes good then maybe I'll be back next season, you never know. Our other import player is Chris Keate and he's played in this league tournament 3 times already. He's originally from Camaroon, Africa and is a really chill cool guy but a great basketball player and has won the MVP 2 out of the 3 times he's played, so he'll be a very valuable asset to us winning. It'll be nice to have him here since he's been around for a while and knows the routine with things.

The weather has been hot for the most part, and pretty humid too. It reminds me a lot of Florida summers. It rains about twice a day, but only for around 15minutes then it's done and it's all dry after about another 30minutes. The scenery of what I've seen so far is definitely tropical, but where I am in East Malaysia is definitely more rural than other regions. So more Jungle-ish, but still really nice and green. The downfall to the hot weather is practicing in it!!! The gym has no A/C and because of that it gets pretty damn hot at times hahaha. By the end of our 2 hour practices I am absolutely drenched and can just wring out my shirt and shorts into a puddle of sweat hahaha! It's crazy but I'm going to have to deal with it because that's just the way it is out here. Chris has already told me that ball and court during the games can get pretty slippery and to not get mad/upset if when i go to shoot that the ball just slips out of my hands hahah! Should be an experience once again to say the least, but that's what I'm here for and I'm looking forward to it!!

We will be traveling each week which is pretty cool, so that way I'll be able to see different areas of Malaysia. This past week and of course this weekend we are in Bintulu (east Malaysia) but on Wednesday the 14th we fly to Kota Kinabalu and are there until the 20th where we then fly to Kuala Lumpor (which is the main city of Malaysia). Basically we are going to play a weekend of games in each teams city so that each team has a fair ammount of "home" games.

As for today, we had a AM shoot around and now I'm just chilling in our hotel room. We have a pre-game dinner and meeting in a couple hours then we'll head over to the gym for the tournaments opening ceremony. Our game isn't until 9pm though!!! Which is really late for a game but hopefully by then the heat will have worn off a little bit. I will be updating the blog over the month with game scores from each weekend.

Here is the leagues website if you want to check it out (it is mostly in chinese but you can get it translated by Google translation if you want to)

I hope this reaches everyone in good spirits and all is well back home. I miss everyone a ton! Can't wait to be home in December already hahaha!

Until tomorrow...
"Make it Happen"

1 comment:

  1. Get it Matt!!!
    I'm in the LA airport, wishin' you goodluck in your games. See ya in about 3 weeks!