A Memorable Trip to Spain
Release Date: 09/07/2012
Oregon defeated a professional team from Madrid, Estudiantes, in back-to-back games to open the trip (Game 1 - W, 94-67; Game 2 - W, 84-61).
From there, the Ducks played a pair of games as part of the Torneig de Basquet Unnim tournament played at the Pavello Esportiu Municipal located approximately an hour north of Barcelona. UO recorded a 103-62 win over Uni Girona and a 70-52 win over Santa Rosa de Lima.
Sophomore Lexi Petersen averaged a team-high 17.5 points per contest on the trip, one of four Ducks to average double-figures in scoring. Freshman Jillian Alleyne (14.5 ppg, 10.8 rpg) and sophomore Megan Carpenter (13.8 ppg, 10.3 rpg) each averaged double-doubles for UO. Sophomore Amanda Delgado averaged 15.0 points per outing.
Head coach Paul Westhead drew the attention of several Spanish reporters while on the trip. Here is a link to an article done by Gerard Solé Serra of SoloBasket.com. And a link to another article recapping UO's games against Estudiantes of Madrid.
Madrid (Aug. 24-27)
After a long, overnight flight from Atlanta to Madrid (where the team landed at approximately 9 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 24), the Ducks hit the ground running and immediately paid a visit to Plaza de Sol (Spanish for "Gate of the Sun") which is one of the best known and busiest places in Madrid. Then the team went to Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas – a stadium for Spanish bull-fighting. Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas is to bull-fighting what Madison Square Garden is to basketball.
The team made the first of what would be several trips to Madrid’s Plaza de Mayor -- a central plaza in the city. And then there was an afternoon walk through Retiro Park, one of the largest parks in the city.
Oregon visited Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Real Madrid’s soccer stadium, the home of international superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. The second day of sightseeing took the Ducks to Plaza de España, Templo de Debod and the Royal Palace of Madrid.
The team visited two world class art museums -- Museo del Reina Sofia and Museo del Prado. The Reina Sofia is Spain's national museum of 20th century art and it features collections of Spain's two greatest 20th century masters, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. Museo del Prado is the main Spanish national art museum. It features one of the world's finest collections of European art and unquestionably the best single collection of Spanish art.
And after a receiving an excellent tip from some Madrid natives – former UO tennis players Jose “Pepe” Izquierdo and Marcos Verdasco– the Ducks went to Café de Chinitas for dinner and flamenco dancing on the final night in Madrid.
Video recap of Madrid:
Valencia (Aug. 28-29)
With only two days in Valencia, the Ducks made the most of their time in that coastal Spanish city. After a four hour bus drive from Madrid to Valencia, the team had an afternoon practice at Pabellón Fuente San Luis which is the arena for Valencia’s Basket Club. The next day the team did a tour of the city center, checked out the modern architecture of the City of Arts and Sciences and made a trip to the beach just north of the city for some relaxing time on the Mediterranean.
Other members of the travel party made the 40-minute train ride to Buñol, Spain for the annual La Tomatina Festival in which participants throw tomatoes in what is known as one of the world’s biggest food fights. It is held on the last Wednesday of August -- purely a coincidence that La Tomatina and the UO trip to Valencia would take place during that time frame.
Video recap of Valencia and Barcelona:
Barcelona (Aug. 30-Sept. 2)
The team visited the world famous Park Güell -- designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and built in the years 1900 to 1914. Also included was a comprehensive bus tour through the city to see some of Gaudi’s other works -- Casa Milà and Casa Batlló. Then the program took in the beautiful view that Parc de Montjuic had to offer. The team also made a stop at Olympic Stadium and Palau St. Jordi arena where the 1992 Dream Team played at the Barcelona Summer Olympics.
There was a morning walking tour of the Gothic Quarter – the center of the old city of Barcelona. Many of the buildings date from Medieval times, some from as far back as the Roman settlement of Barcelona. And what is a trip to Barcelona without a swing down La Rambla -- a street in the central part of the city popular with both tourists and locals alike.
One of the marquee attractions of Barcelona is Sagrada Família, a large Roman Catholic church designed by Gaudí. Construction of the church began in 1882 and continues today. Construction has progressed slowly as it relies on private donations. It is likely to be completed in the next 20 years.
And the icing on the cake was a trip to Camp Nou for a soccer match between FC Barcelona and Valencia. The team had the chance to see one of the world’s greatest soccer players in action – Lionel Messi. Barca won the match, 1-0, after a goal by Adriano in the 22nd minute.
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