Nighthawks down Bandits

As one would expect for a first game the hype was electric, the crowd was full of excitement for the home opener for the Fraser Valley Bandits who are playing out of the Abbotsford Entertainment Centre.

The new league consists of six (6) team that include Edmonton Stingers, Saskatchewan Rattlers, Fraser Valley Bandits, Hamilton Honey Badgers, Niagara River Lions and the Guelph Nighthawks.

Even prior to entering the building the parking lot featured drummers, dancers and some exceptional impressive dunks, so it was clear that the opener was meant to be full filled.

It’s reported that the size of the crowd of just over 3,000 despite seeing the home team drop the game by a close score of 106-103, but not till the final minute.

Guelph guard Anton Gill managed to toss an impressive shot with a short 3.4 seconds remaining, in the contest that left the home fans deflated.

In the early stages of the contest the Bandits went up 19-18 after the first quarter, but the visitors Guelph ran a hot streak in the second quarter managing to grab a 53-50 lead at the half.

The visiting Bandits never really got hot until the the third quarter managing to take the lead by a narrow 77-75 margin after three but took an eight point lead as the as the game was coming to an end.

Bench boss Head Coach Peter Guarasci of the Bandits mentioned to the media that “it was a solid debut for his club, but more time together – both on and off the court is needed” indicating that he liked the way his team came out of the second half of the contest.

“In terms of compete level for our guys and attempting to play together I think it wasn’t too bad,” he said, following the loss. “But I thought we got away from things we’ve done in practice offensively. It’s a very new group, and the ball didn’t move around as much as we’d like it to. It became a bit of one man trying to find solutions at some points. We just need more practice time with this group.”

It goes without saying that there were a few concerns that are not shocking to anyone considering that this was the first game and at home as well.

I am hearing that Steve Daniel managed to control and work with the off floor officials who were doing score, keeping the shot clock along with other duties they were delegated, but in the end it all worked!!

Rumor has it that Bandits Marketing and Communications Manager Andrew Savory was overall pleased with opening day mentioning “The fan engagement was great and preparation was a huge thing for us and we want to continue to do that and what we want to do is make sure people have a better experience next time.”

For a first opening night it went well and if you have yet to take in the first game, make plans to attend their next home game when the Hamilton Honey Badgers come to Abby.

The Bandits now travel to Guelph for a re-match on May 18. The next home game for the team is on May 22, when the Hamilton Honey Badgers come to town.