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Fraser Valley Bandits look to hold on to first place

Tickets still available for tonight’s pro basketball game in Langley
Langley’s own Ty Rowell (centre) and Surrey’s James Karnik (right) are both playing with the Fraser Valley Bandits, who are back on home court tonight (Friday, July 1) for a Canada Day game at Langley Events Centre, starting at 7:30 p.m. (CEBL/Special to Langley Advance Times)Langley’s own Ty Rowell (centre) and Surrey’s James Karnik (right) are both playing with the Fraser Valley Bandits, who are back on home court tonight (Friday, July 1) for a Canada Day game at Langley Events Centre, starting at 7:30 p.m. (CEBL/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Canada and sports go hand in hand, so what better way to mark Canada Day than by attending a game.

For pro basketball fans, a game at Langley Events Centre (LEC) this evening might be the perfect way to share some national pride and have some fun.

The 8-2 Fraser Valley Bandits, on a five game winning streak, are hosting the 5-5 Scarborough Shooting Stars at 7:30 p.m. at LEC, and there are still tickets available for the game.

This is the second time the Bandits and Shooting Stars match up this season.

In their last meeting on June 18, Fraser Valley came away with a close 92-89 win.

RECENT: Fraser Valley Bandits make it five in a row

Both sides traded runs in the game with Fraser Valley going up 27-18 after the first quarter, Scarborough slowly pushing back to make it a 74-73 game going into the fourth quarter. Going into Elam time the game was tied at 83 and it was a fight between who wanted the win more. Fraser Valley went up by a basket and Scarborough tied it, repeating until it was 89-89 and a Murphy Burnatowski jumper and Alex Campbell free throw sealed the Bandits lead.

Campbell scored the game winning free throw finished with 15 points, and he was one of two guards in double-digits with Shane Gibson finishing with 29 points. Campbell and Gibson have been vital pieces for the Bandits with their defence and ability to create their own shot.

Attacking the midrange versus Montreal and creating opportunities against Newfoundland, Gibson and Campbell have been a massive spark for the Bandits over their win streak and specifically in their most recent wins.

The Shooting Stars guards have been just as big of a spark, led by Jalen Harris who sits second in the CEBL in points per game with 21.1. Scarborough is coming off of a win and a loss in their last two games. Harris has scored 18 points and 21 points in their win and loss to Hamilton and Ottawa. Up and down the last two games have showed in their Elam ending, trailing 66-59 against the Honey Badgers before taking a 75-72 win, and winning 82-68 before Ottawa coming back to win 91-90.

In their up and down, Isiaha Mike and Kameron Chatman have been a constant inside the paint. Mike scored 12 points in their 75-72 win over Hamilton and 15 in their 91-90 loss to Ottawa. Chatman scored 21 points and 14 points in their win and loss. Their scoring will be going against the impact Maxie Esho and James Karnik have made around the floor. Both sets of forwards have been impactful on the scoreboard finding their opportunities from anywhere between under the rim and the three-point line, and they’ve got their impact on the rebounds.

While the Bandits forwards make their impact around the floor, Mike and Chatman combine to create the same impact. Mike and Chatman combined for 14 threes in their game against Ottawa and combined for 16 rebounds. Their ability to be effective on both ends of the floor in different aspects will match the shooting and length Karnik and Esho provide the Bandits and create a matchup between all-around forwards who do many different things for their teams.

The Shooting Stars are trying to get out of the pack of teams that sit at five and six wins, while Fraser Valley is looking to lengthen their lead in first place.

For those who can’t make it in person, all games will be streamed live internationally on CEBL+.

A league created by Canadians for Canadians, the CEBL has the highest percentage of Canadian players of any professional league in the country, with 71 per cent of its current rosters being Canadians.

The Bandits have Walnut Grove’s native Ty Rowell and Surrey’s Adam Paige and James Karnik among the locals on their roster.

RELATED: Langley’s Ty Rowell readies for first season with Fraser Valley Bandits

READ MORE: Former Semiahmoo Secondary hoops star to return to Fraser Valley Bandits

RELATED: Bandits sign Surrey native ahead of home game tonight


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