Because of travel difficulties, Patroons’ TBL championship opener moved to Saturday

Head coach Will Brown's Albany Patroons begin the TBL championship series on Saturday at Shreveport.

Head coach Will Brown's Albany Patroons begin the TBL championship series on Saturday at Shreveport.

One way or another, the Albany Patroons would’ve been burning the midnight oil on Monday.

But instead of scrambling into the wee hours to put together a rushed scouting report on their next opponent, the Shreveport Mavericks, the opponent became simply getting to Shreveport by Tuesday for a Wednesday game.

And the Patroons lost that battle, after fruitless attempts until 3 a.m. to make travel arrangements.

But they won the war when The Basketball League and the Mavericks agreed to push the start of the TBL championship series from Wednesday to Saturday.

So the Patroons will embark on their trip to Louisiana – via Boston and Dallas – on Friday for the best-of-3 series that will head back to the Washington Avenue Armory next Wednesday for Game 2. Game 3, if necessary, is scheduled for next Thursday.

The Patroons made the championship series by knocking off the Kokomo BobKats 121-83 in Game 3 of the East Regional finals on Monday night at the Armory, after which coach/general manager Will Brown, Patroons president Michael Corts and team VP Rocco Ricchiuti hunkered down to figure out how in the world they would get a party of 14 to Shreveport. 

“We went right upstairs, and the three of us, for a good two-plus hours, were just hammering away looking at flights, and were just talking in circles,” Brown said on Tuesday.

“Finally, like seven times in a row without taking a deep breath, I said, ‘We need to call the league, we need to call the league, we need to call the league …’”

The Patroons get to catch their breath from Monday’s big win, and assistant coach Julie McBride will get to put together a video scout on the Mavericks without losing her mind.

Preparation for the championship series would’ve amounted to a sleepless night Monday to produce a hard-copy scouting report for the players to read upon arrival, and a game-day shootaround.

“As of 10 p.m. last night [Monday], we didn’t know anything about Shreveport, so the good thing for today, knowing the schedule was moved, it became an off day and let’s get as much info as we can on Shreveport,” Brown said. “Julie McBride has been great all season. She cuts up all of our edits on our opponents’ personnel and their offensive tendencies and defensive tendencies.

“These next two days will be our real productive days as far as getting after it. Not long, but short and sweet and being very productive.”

The Patroons will leave Albany by bus at 8 a.m. Friday for a 12:45 p.m. direct flight from Logan Airport in Boston to Dallas-Fort-Worth, followed by an almost three-hour bus ride to Shreveport.

Brown credited the TBL for being flexible, and the Mavericks front office for their understanding.

“We couldn’t get our group on one plane, we couldn’t get our group on two planes [on Tuesday],” he said. “We looked at different cities, from Hartford to LaGuardia to Boston to Newark. It just wasn’t do-able.

“So the only thing that could be done was move the schedule around to give us time to work on our method of travel.”

After Saturday’s game, the Patroons will bus back to DFW on Sunday for a 5 p.m. flight to Boston.

“It beats 23 hours in a car,” Brown said. “I think we learned from our trip to Kokomo [12 hours one way by bus] that you’ve got to do what’s necessary where you don’t create a competitive disadvantage.”

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