Montreal J. - London L. 97-116 The London Lightning continue to just roll on. The defending National Basketball League of Canada championship set an NBL record for most wins in succession, coming up with their 10th Friday, a 116-97 victory over the Montreal Jazz in Montreal. The Lightning broke the record of nine in a row set last season by the Halifax Rainmen. The Lightning are 10-0 on the season. 'We just want to keep it going,' coach Micheal Ray Richardson said. 'Records are made to be broken and we want to keep breaking them.' It was only the Lightning's third game on the road this season. Even though the Jazz (0-9) have yet to win a game, they gave the Lightning their toughest game of the season the last time the Bolts were in Montreal. It was all the Lightning could do to come away with a 79-76 win. The Lightning jumped out to a big lead early in the first half. Rodney Buford (6'5''-G-77, college: Creighton) hit early and often, coming up with 16 points in the half, including four three-pointers. 'Rodney got it going all right,' Richardson said. 'But really, everyone played well. Whoever we put in did a job.' But the big lead seemed to lull the Lightning to sleep. They came out in the third quarter and played the Jazz's game, which is mostly shooting the ball from the outside. Neither team was particularly patient and the Lightning rarely tried to take the ball inside. The Jazz outscored the Lightning 30-21 in the third quarter to get back into the game. The Jazz have no inside game but they can shoot the ball from three-point range. But you have to make a lot of three-pointers when you only get one shot each time down the floor. 'In the third quarter, we played to the score instead of playing like it was 0-0,' Richardson said. 'But overall, we played well.' Elvin Mims (6'5''-F-79, college: S.Mississippi) was the big man for the Lightning. He had 23 points and 13 rebounds, while Buford finished with 18. Jermaine Blackburn (6'7''-G/F-83, college: Boise St.) had 16, with Jeremy Williams 15 and 10 rebounds. Adrian Moss and Tim Ellis added 13 each. The Lightning's depth is usually what does in the opposition. It was another night with multiple players in double figures. Manix Auriantal (6'2''-G-80, college: NYIT) had 36 for Montreal, including hitting 7-of-10 from three-point land. The Lightning's next game is Thursday at the Budweiser Gardens against the Atlantic Conference-leading Moncton Miracles. It won't take much for the Lightning to stay focused for that one. 'It's my job to keep them focused,' he said. 'It's my job to keep them motivated and I'm a hell of a good motivator. They are going to work like they are 0-10, not 10-0.' Courtesy of: lfpress.com
Summerside S. - Windsor Exp. 102-92 Mike Helms (6'1''-PG-82, college: Oakland) scored 23 points and Darren Duncan (5'11''-PG-88, college: Merrimack) recorded a double-double as the Windsor Express dropped a 102-92 decision to the Summerside Storm in the National Basketball League of Canada Friday in Summerside, P.E.I. Helms was 4-of-6 from the three-point line for the Express, who fell to 3-7 on the season. Duncan, who was acquired last month, netted 22 points to go along with 12 assists. "He's (Duncan) definitely brought some leadership to this team," Express general manager Chris Mendes said. "I think he's adapted well to our system and he made some great decisions on the court." Three members of the Express made their debuts Friday. including forward Chris Commons (6'9''-F-84, college: USC Aiken), who was 6-of-14 from field-goal range with 12 points and seven rebounds. Lester Prosper pulled down eight rebounds and scored five points, while guard Stefan Bonneau added five points off the bench. "Commons had a great game and he set up a lot of guys," Mendes said. "It's their first game together and it was on the road, so it was tough." The Express are back in action Sunday when they take on the Moncton Miracles. Courtesy of: canada.com
Halifax R. - Oshawa P. 90-87 CALL IT The Miracle at the Metro Centre. Joey Haywood nailed a game-tying three-pointer with three seconds left and Quinnel Brown (6'6''-F-83, college: Auburn) sank an improbable trey from deep in his own end at the buzzer as the Halifax Rainmen stunned the Oshawa Power 90-87 on Friday night in a National Basketball League of Canada thriller. 'Never in my life, never in basketball history, that was amazing,' a jubilant Haywood exclaimed shortly after a video review confirmed the Rainmen had indeed snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. 'I just can't believe it. That was like God was on our side today.' The win was the fourth in five games for Halifax (6-5) since Rob Spon took over as head coach on Nov. 21. It was also the team's second nail-biter in a week with the Power, whom the Rainmen nipped 105-104 last Saturday. The outlook didn't look promising for Halifax when Oshawa forward William (Bo) Harris converted a pair of free throws with 9.8 seconds left, giving the Power an 87-84 lead. That's when Haywood and Brown - neither of whom had scored a basket in the fourth quarter - showed their flair for the dramatic. Coming out of a timeout, Haywood took the inbounds pass inside the Power zone, ran a little time off the clock and then, under pressure, drained a triple from the left wing with three seconds left to deadlock the game at 87-87 as the crowd of 2,025 erupted. 'I've been practising that shot all week with my man Reed (Baker) and it just comes from practising in the gym, that's about it,' said Haywood, who finished with 13 points. After another timeout, Oshawa inbounded the ball on Halifax's side of halfcourt. But Brown knocked the ball loose and launched a low-arcing desperation shot from a few feet inside the three-point line in Halifax's end. It slammed into the backboard just above the rim at the other end and caromed in for the game-winning shot. The Power protested briefly, asserting that the game clock had expired before Brown got the shot off. But replays showed he released the ball just before the red lights came on to signal that time had run out. Brown insisted after the game that the shot was far from a fluke, though he said he'd never done it before. 'We practise that every day,' he said. 'Coach Spon puts money on the ground and everybody shoots until somebody makes it. So it just paid off.' Antoine Tisby (6'8''-F/C-83, college: S.Carolina) topped Halifax with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Brown added 14 points, Hillary Haley (6'6''-G-88, college: Md-E Shore) had 13 and Halifax native Tyler Richards had his most productive game as a Rainman, netting eight points, including a pair of treys. Amani Daanish (6'8''-F-83, agency: Elite Talent Exchange, college: Indiana St.) paced Oshawa (6-6) with 20 points. Harris and Mark Gomillia (6'5''-F-87, college: SF Austin) chipped in with 16 each. Oshawa led 20-18 after the first quarter. The visitors were up by five before Richards banked in a three-pointer from high on the left wing in the final minute. In the second, Richards played straight through and made the most of his time. His tough hoop from the baseline with 6:25 remaining put Halifax in front 29-27 and a couple of minutes later, his triple from the top of the arc made it 34-29 for Halifax. The Rainmen were up 42-39 at halftime and, five lead changes later, carried a one-point edge (70-69) into the final period after Haywood nailed a step-back jumper from the foul line as the horn sounded to end the third quarter. In the fourth, there were five more lead changes before Brown's long shot provided the astonishing sixth. The six-foot-six forward said the Rainmen, who entertain the Saint John Mill Rats (4-6) tonight, still have plenty of work to do. 'We're still lacking little things like box-out rebounds, close out with the hand up and basically just giving your all,' he said. 'We've got some guys that's giving their all and some not. In order to win a championship, everybody's gotta give it their all. That's what we're lacking.' Courtesy of: thechronicleherald.ca
London Lightning face new rival as NBL Canada announces an expansion franchise in Waterloo Region - 16 days ago
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A potential rival for the London Lightning will hit the court during the sixth season of the National Basketball League of Canada this winter. The NBL Canada announced its newest expansion franchise would be in the Waterloo Region, which includes Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and its surrounding townships, as the NBL Board of Governors voted unanimously last week to accept the application of the new ownership group. The NBL Canada was founded in 2011 and is Canada's only professional dom... [read more]
A potential rival for the London Lightning will hit the court during the sixth season of the National Basketball League of Canada this winter. The NBL Canada announced its newest expansion franchise would be in the Waterloo Region, which includes Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and its surrounding townships, as the NBL Board of Governors voted unanimously last week to accept the application of the new ownership group. The NBL Canada was founded in 2011 and is Canada's only professional domestic basketball league. The Waterloo Region team will be the fifth team in the Central Division, with London the natural rival. 'The Knights and Rangers have sold out every game for the last 20 years, there is no reason to believe the Lightning (versus the new team) won't do the same,' said NBL Canada commissioner Dave Magley . Rounding out the conference are teams in Windsor, Orangeville and Niagara. There are also five teams in the Atlantic Division in Saint John, P.E.I, Halifax and a team pending in Cape Breton. London Lightning owner Vito Frijia said the expansion team is important for the league and sees them as being 'a really successful franchise.' 'From London's and the league's perspective, KW is a great market for basketball and all of sports. It's centrally located to existing franchises . . . the ownership group is well financed, they have a good community and a lot of integrity,' he said. 'All the right ingredients are in place to make it a fantastic franchise.' One of the majority shareholders Cameron Ball, vice-president of Ball Construction, said he and his partners were approached a few months ago by the YMCA who thought Ball Construction would be a good fit to bring the team to the community. He said after they were introduced to Magley Ball and partners, Ball Construction president Jason Ball and Frank Schneider, CFO, went to a London Lightening game and were inspired to bring the same atmosphere to Waterloo. 'We were so impressed with the calibre of basketball and the fan experience, it looked like a good family atmosphere and an experience we think would be great for our region as well,' said Cameron Ball. The ownership group also includes minority shareholders Brian Foster and Jeff Berg, owners of Innofost Canada and Leon Martin, an entrepreneur from Elmira, Ont. Basketball in Canada is booming, with the likes of Toronto Raptors' Cory Joseph, former first-round draft pick Andrew Wiggins and Pan Am bronze-medallist Kia Nurse finding success and making headlines. But perhaps the most influential story line for the budding basketball market is that of Kitchener-native Jamal Murray, who was just drafted seventh overall in the NBA draft after a successful rookie season at the University of Kentucky. 'The junior programs in KW are really big and competitive. Jamal was just drafted and he is a great young man. All of that is consistent with where we are going with the league,' said Magley. 'Basketball is on another level right now, it's the greatest participation sport in Canada, more so than hockey.' The league said that with the recent success and growth in popularity of Canadian basketball, the timing is perfect for the league to capture the wave of fan support for the sport. 'I have always said basketball is poetry in motion,' said Frijia, who said the success of the Lightning has poached some Londoners from making the trek to Toronto for Raptors games. 'It is a fantastic game to present to fans because they are a lot closer to the action.' Because of all the aforementioned reasons, Ball said he believes the franchise will draw a large fan base and that they will work towards building a championship calibre team. 'We hope to field a competitive team and try to emulate the experience we saw in London, we will compete on floor, have a great family experience for the games and we hope to win a championship as soon as possible,' he said. 'Our region is a big sports minded region, we have tremendous support for the Rangers . . . and there is a lot of interest in basketball.' Magley said all the pieces to building the team are lining up nicely, starting with a naming contest going on right now where fans can suggest names for the new team, the winners will receive two free season tickets. Next, Magely said they hope to have a head coach named in August along with a Canadian only draft to start signing players. Currently there a multiple venue options, with the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium being a natural front runner as the home of the Rangers, but Magley said the venue has yet to be made official. Courtesy of: lfpress.com
Express submit six-man protected list for 2016-17 NBL of Canada season - 20 days ago
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League scoring leader Brandon Robinson was one of six players the Windsor Express placed on the team's NBL of Canada protected list on Thursday. The list gives the Express exclusive negotiation rights to those players up until a month before the season and the ability to match any offer a player receives after that. Along with Robinson, who averaged 21.3 points per game, the Express protected forward Chris Commons, who was seventh in league scoring with an average of 18 [read more]
League scoring leader Brandon Robinson was one of six players the Windsor Express placed on the team's NBL of Canada protected list on Thursday. The list gives the Express exclusive negotiation rights to those players up until a month before the season and the ability to match any offer a player receives after that. Along with Robinson, who averaged 21.3 points per game, the Express protected forward Chris Commons, who was seventh in league scoring with an average of 18.3 points per game, guard Tony Bennett, forward Maurice Bolden and Canadian forward Shaquille Keith and Canadian centre Rudolphe Joly. 'Commons and Robinson are arguably in the top 10 that ever played in the league,' Express head coach and vice-president of basketball operations Bill Jones said Thursday. 'Bennett brings experience and we have younger players with Bolden, Keith and Joly. 'If those six did come back, you've got a good base and you can build around them.' The 31-year-old Bennett said he didn't need to be placed on a protected list to ensure he would return to Windsor next season. 'Definitely an honour to be on the protected list, but I feel like it's a waste of a protection because I ain't going nowhere and Bill and Dartis (Willis, the Express president and CEO) know that,' Bennett said. 'I've told them that the last two years, but they're hard-headed.' After watching Kevin Durant bolt from Oklahoma City to Golden State and Dwayne Wade from Miami to Chicago, Jones is taking no chances. 'You have to protect yourself,' Jones said. 'You hear and understand (what Bennett said), but end of day it is a business and he was one of our best six players.' Jones also plans to keep in touch with a couple of former players. Quinnel Brown, who played in Uruguay, and DeAndre Thomas, who missed last year with a knee injury, who will help, along with Robinson, at the team's youth camps. Spots are still available for the three camps, which are open to players age eight to 15, and will be held July 11-15, July 18-22 and Aug. 8-12. 'It's an opportunity for our coaching staff and some of our players to come back and give back to the community,' Jones said. 'Canadian basketball is starting to flourish and a lot of young kids at that age really like the sport.' Two members of his coaching staff will attend the camp with bigger roles as Scott Newman and Aaron McDonald have been promoted to associate coach. Meanwhile, Tony Jones, who finished the season as associate head coach and served as head coach while Bill Jones sat out a 20-game suspension, will not return to the team. The former NCAA assistant coach is pursuing other opportunities. Newman is currently running the club's entry in the Global Basketball Summer League in Las Vegas. Jones will attend combines in Indiana, Flint, Chicago, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Milwaukee and Atlanta looking for players to get the Express back on top of the league after the club saw its two-year title run end this year. 'The league is getting better, so you have to get better players,' Jones said. 'We have to have hungry players that understand the culture of the Windsor Express.' Courtesy of: windsorstar.com
Finals MVP: Justin Johnson (6'2''-G-88) of Halifax H.; Player of the Year: Logan Stutz (6'9''-F-88) of Niagara RL; Guard of the Year: Justin Johnson (6'2''-G-88) of Halifax H.; Forward of the Year: Stephen Maxwell (6'7''-F-93) of London L.; Center of the Year: Nick Evans (6'11''-C-88) of London L.; Rookie of the Year: Stephen Maxwell (6'7''-F-93) of London L.; Defensive Player of the Year: Anthony Stover (6'10''-C-90) of St.John M.R.; Domestic Player of the Year: [read more]
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