Bandits forward Cameron Forte defends against Saskatchewan’s Robinson Opong during Tuesday’s game. (CEBL photo)

Bandits forward Cameron Forte defends against Saskatchewan’s Robinson Opong during Tuesday’s game. (CEBL photo)

Fraser Valley Bandits improve to 2-0

Abbotsford-based basketball team knocks off defending CEBL champions on Tuesday

The Fraser Valley Bandits won just four games in 2019.

Fast forward to 2020 and the former Canadian Elite Basketball League basement dwellers have already won half of that.

The Abbotsford-based professional basketball club improved to a perfect 2-0 on Tuesday, posting a come from behind 87-77 win over the defending champion Saskatchewan Rattlers on Tuesday.

The Bandits trailed for the majority of the game and were down 49-38 at the half, but dominated offensively in the third and fourth quarters.

A lot of that offence came from the self-proclaimed “best player in the league” Cameron Forte, who collected 30 points, 10 rebounds and six steals. Forte has been the best offensive player in the CEBL early into the Summer Series, averaging a league leading 29 points per game.

The Bandits also got important contributions from Junior Cadougan (14 points and three steals) and Marek Klassen (13 points, five assists and four rebounds).

Bandits head coach and general manager Kyle Julius said his team seems to be gelling early.

“We brought those types of players in here as a core,” he said of his team. “I thought we got outworked in the first half, so we talked about that. I thought they won the energy game in the first half and I thought we won it in the second and then we made some big shots. I cannot say enough about Marek and Jabs [Newby] as they were an absolute sparkplug.”

Fraser Valley also locked down the Rattlers defensively in the second half, only allowing 28 points. The Bandits held Saskatchewan to just 40 per cent shooting from the field.

Guard Marcus Capers sealed the deal in the Elam Ending by making three clutch free throw shots in a row to reach the score of 87.

The game comes off a big 113-100 first game win for the Bandits on Sunday. Forte also led the way in that game with 28 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals. Six Bandits players reached double figures in that win.

RELATED: Fraser Valley Bandits open CEBL Summer Series with win

The Bandits return to action on Thursday night against the expansion Ottawa Blackjacks (0-2). It will be the first-ever meeting for the two clubs. That games tips off at 4 p.m. local time.