Perse basketballers net great memories on Valencia tour

Perse basketballers had a bounce in their step when they took part in a tour to Valencia.

Twenty-four players from Year 10 to Upper Sixth travelled to the Spanish city for a series of games against local sides Paterna, Don Bosco, Grao and Comenius.

They were thrown straight into the action with a match on their day of arrival, which proved to be an extremely tough challenge for the team.

However, captain Luca MacTaggart (Upper Sixth) said the players learned a lot from the experience as they went on to win their final two fixtures.

He said: “Basketball is huge in Spain, so we were expecting the teams we played would be amazing and it was no surprise when we lost our first game by 50 points!

“We’d all woken up at about 2am for our flight, so we were a bit tired, but their passing was rapid and on point and they were so much quicker than we were.

“We also weren’t used to the physicality, it was a whole different way of playing, but although it was a big adjustment, we adapted very well and got good at knowing what referees would call fouls for.

“All the teams we played were super nice though, and we enjoyed chatting to the players.”

The Perse players enjoyed a training session with a professional coach, as well as watching Valencia – one of the biggest basketball clubs in Europe – play a Spanish top division match.

Luca said: “It was so much fun and the atmosphere was incredible. It was a whole different level to anything I’ve seen in the British League, especially the speed and accuracy of the passing.”

Aside from basketball, the students had time to wander around the picturesque city and visit the spectacular Oceanografic aquarium and the Mestalla football stadium, as well as relaxing on the beach.

Having been looking forward to the tour, Luca felt it more than lived up to expectations.

He said: “It’s probably the best school trip I’ve been on. Valencia is such a nice place and being away with a bunch of friends playing my main sport was amazing.

“I think it also helped everyone bond as a team because everyone got to know each other on and off the court, even if we are from different year groups.”

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