Juan Dolio, Dominican Republic – Flexibility is a key virtue for the Lipscomb men’s basketball team on their foreign tour to the Dominican Republic.
Thursday evening the Bisons departed the hotel in two mini-buses on their way to play their first of five exhibition games as part of the foreign tour. The game schedule has been in a state-of-flux ever since it was received.
When the buses exited the hotel in the opposite direction of Santo Domingo we figured the location of the game had been changed again. And, depending on the schedule version, it had been.
After a thirty minute drive – everywhere the team goes; it seems to be a thirty minute drive even though the bus drivers always say we are cinco (five) minutes away – the team arrived in Consuelo at an open air gym.
The gym was covered but had open air sides with five rows of concrete bleachers on three sides. The Bisons were supposed to play a local club team which was best described as collegiate-level players that are not students.
A few jokes were made about shooting into the setting sunlight or about the buckling outdoor floor, but with the mood still heavy from the morning visit to the Sugar Cane Village, no one was too serious. While poor, the residents of Consuelo are still blessed in comparison with a basketball gym along with several baseball facilities within a few hundred feet of each other.
Our opponents began arriving about 7 p.m. or even a few minutes late – known in the Caribbean as “Island Time.” Soon a referee arrived and a person brought uniforms for our opponents. Every jersey was No. 3.
A generator was outside of the facility upon our arrivel. No one thought much about it until it started to become dark and there were no lights.
The team would soon learn that the facility was not connected to the electric grid and the generator was present to run the lights.
But no one could get the generator started. An electrician was called. Car batteries were removed to try to jump start it and a car was even directly connected to the generator with jumper cables.
The work on the generator became the sight of Consuelo Thursday evening with upwards of a hundred people stopping by to look on.
Finally after an hour of working on the generator, there were no more options to try. There was an offer to bring in a second generator, but by that time it was 8:30 and the game was an hour and half late starting. The decision was made to cancel the game.
Friday the Bisons are scheduled for two games – one at 9 a.m. central time and one at 6 p.m. central time. Dependent on internet or cell phone connectivity there will be in-game updates on the LipscombBisons twitter account and postgame on LipscombSports.com
Sporting News ran an interesting article yesterday on the benefits of foreign tours allowed once every four years by the NCAA. Teams that took foreign tours over the last four years increased their win totals by two games in the first year. Furthermore in the second year after a tour, teams gained nearly another two wins. While this isn’t a scientific study, the Lipscomb coaching staff can hope the early experience and practice for the eight newcomers on the trip will show benefits both this year and in the years to come.
Prior Trip Blog Entries
Dominican Travel Blog - Day 1: Travel Day
Dominican Travel Blog - Day 2: Sugar Cane Village