Lloydminster Source
  Search

Rustlers on top at the break

Rustlers on top at the break

Posted in By Colin

By Robb Fenton
After wrapping up a perfect first half of the ACAC season, the Lakeland Rustlers men’s basketball team took a few minutes to reflect on how the first 10 games went.
It’s tough to not be thrilled with going a perfect 10-0, but there is still work to be done.
“We’re happy. It’s not where we expected to be to be perfectly honest with you, but we’re happy that we’ve made it this far. We just hope we can continue like this the rest of the way,” coach Peter Sambu said.
The Rustlers finished the first half with two wins over the MacEwan Griffins and sit on top of the ACAC’s North Division, the ACAC overall and on top of the country, as the Rustlers have been ranked No. 1 by the CCAA since the start of the season.
That’s a feather in the cap of the Lakeland team, but as Sambu quickly pointed out, they really haven’t accomplished what they want to accomplish yet.
“We haven’t won anything yet. Until there’s a crowned champion, then we won’t stop working. The season will be over then, but everybody is in the race and everybody is in the season, so we have to continue working just as hard and even harder in the second half,” he said.
Sambu is not only happy, but very impressed by the way his team has adapted to his coaching style, especially the newcomers to the team.
He expected it to happen, but he did note that everyone is on the same page and playing for each other, which is going to go a long way as the season progresses towards playoffs.
“The way these guys have bought in and they’ve grown a lot these last two months. They’ve accepted the demands I’ve put on them. Kudos to this team, they’ve done a very good job so far this year,” he said, adding they’re not only good basketball players, but they’re good young men.
With that being said, Sambu said he feels this team hasn’t even hit their potential and seeing the strides they’ve taken in the first semester gives the veteran coach a lot to be excited about in the future.
“It’s very, very, very encouraging. Considering their youth and how inexperienced they are and how much growth they had to make. I’m looking forward to seeing how far this team can really go,” he said.
There is still work to do, however, for the Rustlers.
They sit as not only the highest scoring team in the league, but also a team who gives up the sixth most points in the entire ACAC.
It hasn’t hurt them yet, but Sambu said that’s something they’ll focus on in the second semester.
“We’re not the top defensive team in the league yet. There’s a lot of teams ahead of us and are playing better defence than us. I told the guys, in the end it’s going to be the best defensive teams in the league that are going to win. So if we want to be there in March, we have to be one of the best defensive teams,” Sambu explained.
With the first half over, the players will now focus on school work to ensure they can all play next semester.
With restrictions throughout the league, the players need a certain grade to be able to continue to play, so Sambu is encouraging his players to study hard and focus to be able to be part of the team in 2012.
“Right now the most important thing is academics. Without school, there is no basketball, so we’re focusing on academics. We’re having this little intra-squad game to break up some of the time off, but this is the last basketball we’ll have as a team until they get back on Jan. 2 for our first practices and meetings,” Sambu said as his team took part in a small charity game at Lloyd Comp High School. “Right now, it’s academics full on and basketball will be back in January.”
Latest Comments

There are no comments.