The current COVID-informed reality has demanded a strategic shift in a lot of industries. It was the same for the sport industry. Some fought for survival, others - to maintain course - had to change their whole concept.
It was the same for Asseco Arka. A product made whole-cloth from Polish materials. Coach Przemyslaw Frasunkiewicz has created a team made up fully off our countrymen. Junior plugged the holes as well. It ended up with the 41-year old Filip Dylewicz receiving passes from a 16-year old. A volatile combination, which made a lot of head scratch. Predictions were unsure whether we would occupy the last place in total or barely make it to the playoffs. Few saw Gdynia fighting all the way up till the end just to stay in the league. Definitely the worst season in the club's history.
The beginning was good, with us defeating BMSlam Stal at the Gdynia Arena with James Florence still onboard. Losing to the silver medalist in the next match - Pszczolka Start Lublin - was barely noticed with our subsequent win in the Sopot derby. Following that, a loss against Wroclaw after some additional time was added to the game. Next came up the local wins (GTK Gliwice, King Szczecin) which turned many frowns upside down. Some wins, some losses - a natural state of being.
The bubble popped, eventually. And there was no way of putting the genie back in his bottle. Starting with the October match against Enea Astoria Bydgoszcz, the win was collected in only 4 matches out of 22. After a series of heavy defeats, coach Frasunkiewicz left and was replaced by his assistant, Piotr Blechacz. The youngest coach in the League. And what a hard task to start out with, considering the series of injuries plaguing the team.
- At one point, I had 6-7 players available at training sessions - said Blechacz.
No matter the rival, the situation was hard. It was especially noticeable when we were losing by many, many points. We made it, in the end. Fifteenth place, 8 wins, only a single team below us. The 2020/21 season will not be fondly remembered, but it taught us much.
For it was a time of goodbyes. Krzysztof Szubarga has completed his career. Many times he carried the Gdynia team. Dylewicz came back and beat the PLK record for most matches played (672) while scoring an average of 10 points per match.
Is there anything more to be added? The season is best forgotten and the sight set ahead for future victories.