Robby Bostain, “Our goal to go out and dominate every game” – by Fred Roggen

Wederom eentje uit de ‘Oude Doos’:

I had a change to caught up with point guard Robby Bostain (194-G/F-84, college: Furman) of the GasTerra Flames. So, I had gone on this cold, foggy, rainy December day. It was kind of an unpleasant time to be in Groningen,
but a great atmosphere for an interview. It’s late in the afternoon by the time Robby Bostain shows up, it was more than a year ago we had our latest interview, I sat down with Robby and we had coffee, made some small talk, and recorded an interview. Robby is a heady, versatile lefthander, who can play on the one, two and three spot. His leadership has always guided his teams through the tough times and his trusty shooting has meant numerous wins.

Hey Robby. First of all, you made a big move to GasTerra Flames after two years in Zwolle. Now you’re playing for a team with much bigger expectations. Is there more pressure to win?
No, I dont think so.

From your perspective as a guard, how are things different this year from an Xs and Os perspective?
This year we have a lot of guys on the team who are really good offensive players, so being the point guard its my job to make sure everyone feels involved and is able to get a rhythm in the game. I try to make sure we have a good tempo on offense and that we are getting great looks at the basket everytime down the court. We have a few guys who can really create off the dribble and in the post and draw help defense, so its important to get those guys the ball in good situations. Then there are times during the game when its important for me to create more and look to score.
Last year, my role was to be a little more aggressive the whole game and really look to create shots for teammates and look to put the ball in the basket as well.

landstede_rotterdam01GasTerra Flames has made a big effort to put a competitive team together, as you are one of the new arrivals. How do you like your teammates and how much time will you need to give your maximum level?
I think we have a great group of guys. I really look forward to coming to the gym and competing against them everyday. We all get along real well off the court as well which is nice. Our goal is to be playing our best basketball at the end of the year. We learn things from every game and then we work on them in practice to try and reach that maximum level. So I cant really put a timetable on it, it just a matter of trying to improve everyday over the length of the season and then having all the work you have invested come together in the end.

That team chemistry – all the talking together on the court, the bench players involved – how did that chemistry come about?
I think it comes from a mutual respect we have for each other. Everyone on our team has played professionally before and alot of us were in this league last year and we got a chance to play against each other and see what makes each of us successful. Everybody has taken a different path to get here and has done something right to reach this level so we all respect each others ideas and comments. The bottom line for all of us is winning.

Robby, can you talk about how you feel about your game, how it has progressed in these past few months?
When I signed with Gasterra I really looked at it as a challenge and a great opportunity. I was really excited to move to a true point guard position and prove myself in that area at this level. I feel I have learned alot about controlling the tempo of the game and getting the ball where needs to go at the right time. I still have a lot to learn, but coach stays on me and gives me pointers here and there about always making great decisions with the ball and controlling tempo. Individually, I am always trying to improve on my fundamentals and stay ready.

You came to Europe very young to play under Coach Herman van den Belt. How has he helped you develop your game over the years?
I feel I was very fortunate to begin my career in Zwolle with coach Herman. I couldnt of asked for a better situation and people to be around to adjust to european basketball. Coach Herman really showed a lot of confidence in me and gave me a lot of freedom on the court to try things and learn from them. I became a much better player in my two years there. He really helped me with consistency by establishing roles for everyone and making everyone feel like they have ownership in the team.

Following your Pro career, one word that comes to mind is consistency. How do you maintain consistency in a sport full of ups and downs, good games and bad games?
I am a real routine oriented guy. So I try to build good habits and then work on those on a daily basis. Everybody has a few ups and down throughout their career. I just try to stay on a even emotional level and try not to get too high or too low, eventhough it can be hard at times.

  1. robby-bostain-gasterra-flames-photo-arnold-meijer-gasterra-flamesIt’s true that you always seem very calm under pressure. How do you handle stress in the critical moments?
    I feel its something I have learned through experience. I feel the more prepared you are the more relaxed you feel. So I try to prepare myself the best I can and then when certain moments come up you feel more confident going into the situation.

Your joining GasTerra Flames came with an implicit leadership role. How have you developed that part of your responsibility with the team?
I have always been a little bit of a quiter guy who led more by example than voice. But I think to be a really good player its important to be able to do both. So its something I want to get really good at. I think its important to be yourself, but I think its important to speak up at certain times and see what works and what doesnt. I am trying to be more vocal and I just try to keep doing it until I become better at it.

You and Matt Bauscher have become one of Hollands most dangerous combo’s outside. How did you get your rhythm playing together so quickly?
I had a lot of respect for Matt for what he did last year and I was really looking forward to playing with him this year. He is a really competitive guy that is fun to work with. We both enjoy setting up shots for the other guy and talking about what plays will get him a good look and how the defensive guy is playing him in certain situations. It really helps with our chemistry. He is all about winning and I enjoy playing with guys like that.

What does the possibility of winning a championship like the Dutch Title mean to you at this point in your career?
Thats what its all about to me. I was able to put up some nice statistical numbers last year, but championships are alot more memorable. Being able to go through a long season with a great group of guys and win the championship is the only mission for me.

The team had a surprising home loss against ZZ Leiden, after 7 wins in a row. Has this loss been, in a way, a wake-up call for you guys?
I dont think so. Our goal to go out and dominate every game no matter what happened the previous game. Leiden is a good team and they were better on that day.

There is something that never changes in Groningen and that is its incredible fan base. You have seen their support over the years and everyone who follows Dutch basketball knows how GasTerra Flames (Donar) is backed by some of the most loyal fans in sports. How could you explain the fan support.
Its been excellent. Everything has been first class. I always looked forward to playing in MartiniPlaza when I was in Zwolle. The fans are very loyal and passionate. They are also very knowledgable. They really know their basketball. Its been wonderful to play in front of them.

Finally, how far can GasTerra Flames go this season? Which are the goals for you, personally, and for your team?
I definately feel like we have the ability to go all the way. The goals for me are to become the best point guard I can. There are certain areas I want to work on to reach the highest level I possibly can. Team goals are similar. We want to become the best team we possibly can over the next 5 months and then come playoff time see where we are at.

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