Bandits Hit Hardwood

Photo Credit Fraser Valley Bandits

Realistically speaking the one Pro Sport to cover in the lower is the Vancouver Whitecaps and given the fact that there are No Canucks, Lions or Vancouver Canadians (yet), I was asked “Why are no other media members covering the newest semi-pro team in the area?”

Maybe it’s the cost of gas that’s keeping the media away or maybe it’s the distance from Vancouver to Abbotsford that is of concerns, but whatever the reason the Vancouver Major Market Media are clearly missing out!

Pro Basketball returns to the area and in particular the Abbotsford Centre and play home to the only team located on Canada’s West Coast, the Fraser Valley Bandits.

While we missed game one or the home opener, Sportswave Media made a point of traveling, fighting the traffic to take in game two against the Hamilton Honey Badgers.

Photo Credit Fraser Valley Bandits

On this night the crowd was over 1,500 with everyone on hand being entertained by some exceptional hardwood action.

On hand for the opening ceremonies was the CEBL Commissioner Mike Morreale naturally offering positive words of encouragement to everyone within earshot, while at the same time thanking everyone he had a chance to spend time with.

The hype seemed like magic throughout the building and it was easy to say that if you wanted the best bang for your buck this was the place to be especially in a mid-week match-up.

The league is clearly a welcome addition to the area and given the loss of the so-called Vancouver Knighthawks that had a “cup of coffee” at the Richmond Oval then faded off into the sunset.

The league currently has six teams, all having impressive names such as the Edmonton Stingers, Saskatchewan Rattlers, Hamilton Honey Badgers, Guelph Nighthawks, Niagara River Lions and of course the Fraser Valley Bandits.

This game featured various entertainment, dancers, giveaways for the fans as well as exceptional basketball from both teams.

If this is what the community, the fans and the lower mainland can expect from the Bandits visit the league site and mark all dates on your calendar – you won’t be disappointed.

The first quarter saw Bandits start strong while at the same time utilizing strong ball posession in all areas of the court with a three pointer giving the Bandits an early 7-4 lead.

Both clubs managed to trade baskets throughout the first quarter that saw Tate sink a free throw giving the Bandits  a 26-23 lead after one.

The Bandits managed to grab a’ lead 37-23 with only six minutes remaining in the first half, but the Nighthawks turned the tables on the Bandits managing to sink shots from the free throw line that saw the Nighthawks start to double team the home squad but the Bandits held on to a 51-35 heading to half-time.

Jamal Reynolds sank a three pointer at 3:55 that cut the lead to 69-53 as well as a two-point jump shot with 21 seconds remaining in the third quarter with Aaron Redpath doing the hard work cutting the lead to just 14 points.

The fourth quarter was all Nighthawks as they started a 17-7 run that Myck that cut the Bandits lead to 85-81.

Nighthawks power forward Chris Johnson sank a three pointer give the Nighthawks their first lead of the contest since the first quarter.

Bandits Tate managed a late three-point shot bringing the Bandits to within one point with a timely 25 seconds left.

Try as they might the Bandits were unable to bounce back allowing the Nighthawks to take a 95-94 road win back to the Steel City.

Exciting basketball at it’s finest, so feel free to visit the site and plan on attending one of the upcoming games.

Thanks to Jen for her hospitality and being a gracious host, utilizing my broadcast partner for Eastlink/Delta TV broadcasts Steve Daniel as the official stats person for the Bandits and the CFL

The win, the Nighthawks improve to 2-1 on the season, while the Bandits fall to 0-2 on the season – but it’s still early!!