Saturday, July 25, 2015

chile takes the Bronze in Handball; Brazil the Gold in Basketball

When I watched Brazil beat the United States on Thursday night I kept waiting for the United States to show themselves to be superior. They never did. Brazil was the better team.  They played tougher defense and worked to get open shots. Last night, Canada's victory over the United States was different. In it, Jamal Murray in the fourth quarter played like Michael Jordan and that is why Canada prevailed.

The combination of Canada likely celebrating, Brazil having a day off from their celebration, and Brazil being the better team, were the ingredients that led Brazil to the Gold. They won by over ten points.  I did not watch the game as I am currently at the Exhibition Center watching team Handball, but I did follow on the internet.  Brazil was no slouch, a good team with several strong players both physically and in terms of their game.

The Bronze match is over here at the Handball courts (can't stop thinking of PS 194 cement playground when I write handball courts).  Chile won and by about five goals.  I have sort of the handle on the game now--like a novice might, not as an aficionado does.  Here's what happens. Six players plus a goalie play for each team. The offensive team can pass to one another, dribble a few times and can jump, come down with the ball, and retain possession. (unlike basketball where that results in a turnover).  The defenders gather around a semi circle and essentially form a wall. The object is for the offense to somehow penetrate that wall and then ram the ball past the goaltender who gets pelted throughout the 60 minute contest.

I am not sure what muggings are legal and which are not.  There are some big fellows out there and it takes more than saying swordfish to get into a shooting lane.  It looks like if you are hit while shooting then there is penalty shot and you can be penalized so that your team is short handed but, again, it seemed like you could pummel an opponent and not have anyone wag a finger at you.

There are a lot of people here for the final which will follow in 40 minutes.  Argentina is squaring off against Brazil. This ticket (sitting in the bleachers with no backs) was 50 bananas and yet there were not too many empty seats for the Bronze game so I am assuming the second game will be even more crowded as some folks might just be coming for the Gold match.  

Brazil could wind up with three Golds today. At about the same time as this Handball final begins, the Women's volleyball team from Brazil will be taking on the United States for the Gold medal in that. They are playing just a few yards from me, but there is a wall that separates that arena from this one.

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