Aug. 12, 2006
Day 2- The Rising
Today was truly a great day to be a Rambler as we enjoyed a well-deserved good night's sleep at the Real Intercontinental Hotel in San Jose, Costa Rica. We enjoyed a nice buffet breakfast at the hotel as the team recapped the travel stories from the previous day.
The biggest question of the morning was when would the luggage arrive? After much research, we found that the luggage would not arrive until after our first game tonight. At this point, all we could do was laugh and head to the mall together to find some shoes, socks, and clothes, compliments of Continental Airlines. We know that life on the road in the Horizon League can be tough every night, so we have to adapt to our surroundings and just focus on the game ahead.
As we entered the mall, we were greeted by many curious onlookers as we toured all of the shoe stores in the mall. One thing we learned was that there are no shoes available in Costa Rica bigger than size 12, thus only two of our players could find a new pair of shoes. We received funny looks when we asked about size-18 Nikes. So, we called in some favors around town and were able to come up with enough large sizes for our team, except for Tom Levin who played remarkably well in his K-Swiss low-cuts.
We enjoyed a wonderful pre-game dinner at Chi Chi's where we dined on local Costa Rican food. We met several Americans who were familiar with Loyola's program and we are learning that the Loyola name is recognized far and wide as there have been many connections made to Loyola.
At 6:30 pm, we bused over to the arena and were greeted by our hosts. The arena was very nice and everybody was very excited to see the Ramblers roll into town. Our team was thrilled to be on the court and approached this game with a great focus. As our team jerseys did not arrive, we borrowed jerseys from the Costa Rican Basketball Association. The arena was very nice with a dark, hardwood floor. The music in the arena was absolutely pulsating for an hour before the game.
The Liceo team and officials were very gracious and took care of everything that we needed during our stay. The team was 17-1 coming into this game so we wanted to make a statement and get off to a great start. We played by international rules so it took a little getting used to, especially when Blake Schilb tried calling a timeout in the backcourt, only to learn that we cannot call timeouts while the ball is in play. The Costa Rican team provided us with a nice gift before the game and then the Ramblers went to work.
We played very well throughout the night to get the victory and we were able to play a lot of different combinations of players on the floor all night. Tracy Robinson and Brandon Woods led us in scoring with 15 points each, while Blake Schilb had 11 points and 11 assists, Kye Pattrick had 8 points and 10 rebounds, and Tom Levin and Dave Telander chipped in with 9 points each.
After the game, we ate dinner at a local restaurant near the arena with our Costa Rican hosts. The best news of the trip arrived during dinner...our luggage was found and was on the bus! This news was greeted by a loud ovation from the Rambler family. Many thanks to our tour guide, Tim Austin, for his relentless pursuit of our luggage. The team also celebrated the wedding anniversary of our head coach and his wife, Jim and Connie Whitesell!
We arrived back at the hotel for a good night's sleep and an early morning departure for our Canopy Tour, where the team will be touring the rain forests of Costa Rica. The Ramblers have their luggage, are 1-0, and look forward to game two, Saturday night!