Barking Abbey boys depart to Madrid for pre-season

PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 August 2018

The latest news from the local basketball scene (pic: Andrew Matthews/PA)

The latest news from the local basketball scene (pic: Andrew Matthews/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Barking Abbey boys departed to Madrid this week for pre-season in what has become an annual trip for the programme over the past four years.

The trip, funded by Erasmus+, will see Barking Abbey enjoy two weeks in Spain, as they will be put through a rigorous pre-season schedule, which will include physical testing, two-a-day practices, and three games against Spanish sides including powerhouse Estudiantes.

The successful Erasmus+ bid gives students an opportunity to experience professional basketball in a European country, living the life of a professional, and experience international culture of the sport through playing against and watching Spanish teams.

Not only on the court, the team will also get to indulge in the cultural experiences of Madrid, visiting local landmarks, and heading to an ACB pre-season tournament.

“We’re delighted to be heading back to Spain,” BA Director of Operations Lloyd Gardner said.

“Last year it was the girls, and so this year it is the boys’ turn.

“It’s always a great experience for our student-athletes, one that will help them develop both on and off the basketball court.

“We’re definitely looking forward to it, and should help give us a head start in our preparation for the season, giving the players plenty of time to bond and build chemistry, whilst ensuring they are in shape for the season ahead.”

The squad will be staying in Pinto, Madrid, with first class facilities, and the local arena where they will be practicing, a five minute walk away.

Luis Guil, a well-respected Spanish coaching figure who previously coached at BA for a year, helped organise the trip as the host via the Erasmus+ bid.

The team will return to the UK on September 9.

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