Fraser Valley Bandits will host the Guelph Nighthawks this Thursday (Aug. 4) for their first-ever Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) playoff game at Langley Events Centre (LEC).
A berth in the CEBL quarterfinals hangs in the balance for the winner of Thursday’s win-or-go-home tilt, under a newly introduced CEBL “play-in” round, which precedes the quarterfinals on Sunday, Aug. 7, where a date with the Scarborough Shooting Stars awaits the victor of Thursday’s contest.
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Thursday’s play-in has no shortage of storylines to watch; first of which is the fact that the Bandits and Nighthawks split the season series at one game a piece. Fraser Valley won the first matchup 90-85 on the road versus Guelph on June 21 and Guelph won 87-79 on the road at LEC on July 15.
Separated by a head-to-head point differential of just three points, the narrative does not stop there. The two rivals met last year in the CEBL quarterfinals on Aug. 15. Fraser Valley won 104-84 to earn a trip to Championship Weekend in Edmonton last summer.
Rewind to 2020 and the Bandits defeated the Nighthawks 84-70 in the final regular season game of the CEBL Summer Series on Aug. 5, 2020, to earn a bye to the semifinals.
Both teams rounded out the recent CEBL regular season in winning fashion. Fraser Valley won three of its last four games to finish 12-8 (fourth overall) and Guelph won its last two games of the campaign to finish 10-10 (seventh overall).
“This year has been an awesome debut at one of the best venues in all of Canadian sports and entertainment at Langley Events Centre. Our fans have supported us all season long and have given us a home court advantage unlike any other in the CEBL,” Bandits president Dylan Kular said.
“Our players feed off the energy of our passionate fanbase and I am excited to welcome our supporters for a great evening of professional basketball and for one more chance to defend home court.”
Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and tickets for the rematch of last year’s quarterfinal are on now.
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