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Thread: ABA Update (and Now The PBL)

  1. #901
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    Training camps now over for the CEBL teams and the third season of this league is ready to begin with actual cities across Canada seeing pro basketball action for the first time in nearly two years.

    Teams nationwide finalizing their rosters like Niagara River Lions, who will at first be without Trae Bell-Hayes, auditioning for Team Canada with his chances increasing there with NBA players dropping out and placed as suspended, and Phil Scrubb finalizing his pro season in France. NRL signed 5 new players (3 Americans and 2 Canadians straight from the CIS with the Carleton Ravens). From my hometown, there are two St. Louisans. Niagara is likely the first CEBL to finalize their roster:
    https://www.riverlions.ca/2021finalroster
    https://www.oursportscentral.com/ser...ster/n-5709718

    Edmonton Stingers are glad to be back playing at home. Glad to have fans soon coming back to cheer them on at the Edmonton Expo Centre on July 2. Xavier Moon, Jordan Baker, and Adika Peter-McNailly are glad to be back in the YEG. They're also glad to be defending champions and starting the season right now:
    https://edmontonsun.com/sports/baske...end-cebl-title

    Edmonton didn't get to host the 2020 CEBL Championship Weekend last year because...you know. So the CEBL unsurprisingly announced yesterday Alberta's capital city and its defending CEBL champions Stingers get a second chance this year with the automatic eligibility into the semifinals under a planned 6-team playoff format scrapped for the same reason:
    https://www.cebl.ca/edmonton-to-host...onship-weekend

    Ottawa Blackjacks' first-ever home game at last at the 10,000-seat Ottawa Civic Centre/TD Arena tomorrow versus Niagara is sought by Ottawa, with permission from the Ontario government, to have fully vaccinated health care workers permitted to enter for free. Then allow a capacity to 300 each for the next home games June 28 and July 1 (Canada Day):
    https://ottawacitizen.com/sports/bas...6-eb954a9c0dbf

    All of other 6 CEBL teams outside of Edmonton aspire to reach Alberta for a title. Especially top CEBL team Niagara:
    https://www.niagarafallsreview.ca/sp...rta-bound.html

    Here's how the CBC's Myles Dichter assess the upcoming 2020 CEBL season. We will return to 49 regular season games as it tip-offs Thursday. Yes, the Edmonton Stingers bringing back MVP Xavier Moon and Canadian Player of the Year Jordan Baker but lose Travis Daniels, an important player for Edmonton, now at Saskatchewan and bolster that team. But every CEBL team in the league looks very good and balanced amongst each other. So there's no telling who exactly are the favo(u)rites this summer. Dichter notes of the 114 players in those CEBL training camps across Canada, just 20 have been around since the beginning with an additional 31 entering their second season here. This means we got 63 CEBL newcomers. Guess last season may not matter much with the Niagara Summer Series. Meanwhile Hamilton will see lots of turnover with some imports and hope to use it to the Honey Badgers' advantage. Ottawa, now under new management, will rely a little less on local former university stars. Guelph Nighthawks look to play big:
    https://www.cbc.ca/sports/basketball...view-1.6072262
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  2. #902
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    Took a hiatus due to the pandemic Shut-In Olympics and my increasingly busy BTS schedule, like, this week. Still working on both. But anyway, there's been a lot of developments as you would expect from these leagues, especially up in Canada.

    Right now, the biggest news in Canadian pro basketball outside of the NBA and the Toronto Raptors/Raptors 905 realm is today's breaking news that the CEBL's planned 8th team for next season was announced and will venture into the Greater Toronto Area for the first time despite initial resistance to place an outpost there. CEBL's 8th franchise based in the GTA is going to be the called the Scarborough Shooting Stars, aptly named and announced during the annual Shooting Stars Golf Tournament at the Angus Glen Golf Club. Scarborough will the first CEBL team with both a different owner from Richard Petko, who owns the rest of the 7 CEBL clubs, and not to have an animal name as a nickname. Not to mention 5 CEBL teams in Ontario. Shooting Stars founders are Nicholas Carino, aka OVO Niko who has Drake connections, and Sam Ibrahim, a Playground Global basketball complex founding member, and both being Scarborough natives and have a passion for basketball. Scarborough, located at the eastern side of Toronto, actually possess a well-spring of rising young basketball talent including newly-minted Tokyo 2020 men's 200m gold medalist sprinter Andre Degrasse. Furthermore, the Scarborough Shooting Stars will actually not play in Scarborough, as I presumed with the announcement of the Pan American Centre, but starting next May host games at the Kimel Family Field House as part of the Goldring Centre at the University of Toronto St. George campus in downtown Toronto. That's the home of the Toronto Varsity Blues. This version, despite being in the Greater Toronto Area, is meant to keep things hyperlocal in the league's eyes instead of being GTA broader. That is, simply named Toronto:
    https://www.cbc.ca/sports/basketball...t-15-1.6142258
    https://ca.nba.com/news/scarborough-...w19w4rryr54brf
    https://www.thestar.com/sports/baske...n-the-gta.html
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...ranchise-2022/
    https://www.coastreporter.net/nation...season-4225140
    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/spor...ting-stars-as/
    https://www.cebl.ca/scarborough-shoo...nchise-in-cebl
    https://www.complex.com/sports/ovo-n...shooting-stars

    Toronto Star also indicates in its link above that a 10th franchise may be forthcoming ready to tip-off later on with Montreal and Scarborough. Thinking possibly a Western Canada-based team.

    CEBL 2021 regular season ended already this past Tuesday. And the CEBL play-in quarterfinals already took place before the CEBL Championship Series take place this weekend in Edmonton at the Edmonton Expo Centre Hall D. Hamilton welcomed the Ottawa Blackjacks into town at the former Copps Coliseum only to be upset by Ottawa during the weekend. Niagara takes on Fraser Valley in the first game and then the hometown defending champs and heavy faves Edmonton Stingers battle with those Ottawa Blackjacks in the second both on Friday night.

    Xavier Moon and Lindell Winnington headline the 2021 CEBL award nominees.
    https://www.cebl.ca/canadian-elite-b...award-nominees

    Two major developments happened in NBL Canada. First and more recently the defending champions Moncton Magic decided to depart NBL Canada, the second one after Niagara there to do so without either folding, forced out, or going dormat. Future plans are unknown, although I suspect, based on past acts in minor league pro basketball and other sports, the Magic will move into another league either the CEBL or the planned ECBL. Could Moncton possibly be that 10th CEBL team that could place a CEBL Atlantic Canada outpost? If so, Moncton could have the summer to itself and not worry about sharing with the Mooseheads hockey. Remember this league has NOT played since March 2020:
    https://www.oursportscentral.com/ser...nblc/n-5732481

    Apparently, the wildly successful St. John's Edge is also gone too from the league in mid-July. Actually "Edged" out by the City of St. John's and SJSE because they both invited a new investor to install a new ABA team based in St. John's, Newfoundland at the Mile One Centre ready to play in September and thus the Edge won't return. May have something to do with lease extension talks. Some of this Cape Breton Eagles junior hockey franchise majority owner Glace Bay native Irwin Simon, who also partially owns the Edge, may ponder the next move. It's all very confusing with some moving parts leaving local basketball and ice hockey fans "gobsmacked" and unhappy after a few seasons of success for both before now in the face of the covid era. The Edge could potentially move to Cape Breton at the Centre 2000 and be rechristened as the Highlanders as a Cape Breton basketball gain. Maybe? No effort or movement made on the said Highlanders' return from its current dormat status before this development:
    https://www.saltwire.com/newfoundlan...aba-100612290/
    https://www.oursportscentral.com/ser...ntre/n-5720787
    https://www.saltwire.com/cape-breton...eek-100618273/

    Again with no NBL Canada on-court basketball activity right now, Sudbury Five head coach and GM Logan Stutz, fresh from his Syrian basketball coaching staff endeavor, has decided to resign and become the Boston College Golden Eagles' Director of Basketball Player Development after building a solid local following for Sudbury's first pro basketball team:
    https://www.sudbury.com/sports/sudbu...ing-on-3962187
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  3. #903
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    Can't see Ottawa, Niagara, and Fraser Valley toppling defending champions Edmonton Stingers with their league-best 13-1 regular season record this weekend. All eyes in the CEBL world will be on Edmonton in Edmonton Expo Centre Hall B. Ottawa however, signed Chad Posthmus two days before the playoffs started, and he was a difference in upsetting Hamilton, thus making the Friday night semifinal matchup with Ottawa more intriguing. BTW, the Ottawa Blackjacks are the only team team to defeat the Stingers. And yes, the CEBL will again employ the Elam ending:
    https://www.cbc.ca/sports/the-buzzer...kend-1.6145544

    Ottawa gets to host and automatically participate in the 2022 CEBL Championship Weekend next year at the Ottawa Civic Centre/TD Arena August 17-21 that year:
    https://www.theblackjacks.ca/city-of...onship-weekend

    Kardinal Offishal, Roy Wood$, DJ 4Korners, OG Jonah, Kuzi Cee, Evrlove Blake, Cab'ral, Conch, Kesara, Mitchell Lawler, LISE, K4T, DJ Alize, and Selassie Drah are your Canadian 2021 CEBL Championship Weekend music artists schedule to appear that's kicking off tonight in Edmonton. Plus, the schedule with a 3x3 youth basketball tournament and 2K gaming tournament and, oh, the 2021 CEBL Awards are tonight:
    https://www.cebl.ca/artists
    https://www.cebl.ca/CW-Schedule

    Speaking of the CEBL Awards, NBA.com Canada's Carlan Grey offers his predictions for who will walk away with the awards tonight. He thinks Lindell Wigginton will win Canadian Player of the Year with Edmonton's Xavier Moon winning the Player of the Year threepeat:
    https://ca.nba.com/news/xavier-moon-...j1atqzc6gnb8tx

    Niko Carino talks to Etalk's Tyrone Edwards on what "a dream come true" it is for the Scarborough native to own his local Greater Toronto Area CEBL franchise the new Scarborough Shooting Stars in the hope using that for local Scarborough basketball youth to pursue their own dreams:
    https://www.etalk.ca/celebrity/2021/...ing-stars.html

    Seems as though the CEBL is interested in getting Brampton, another Greater Toronto Area locality situated on the westside, into this league possibly as the ninth franchise. Should this happen, it will be the first time Brampton will have pro basketball there since the A's left for Orangeville in 2015 playing at the CAA Centre. Maybe if the city can fork the C$400,000 to make it work; the CEBL "needs a decision from the city by September so the team could sell tickets, acquire sponsors and establish its brand within the community". Beside, the CAA Centre (formerly the Powerade Centre) perhaps could use a primary tenant after the ECHL's Brampton Beast folded after this season :
    https://www.bramptonguardian.com/new...e-in-brampton/

    Regarding Montreal, I think we'll hear some some details like name, coach/GM, logos, merchandise, and colo(u)rs around the Championship Weekend in Edmonton to further build awareness.

    New teams coming in the TBL for 2021-22, according to Wikipedia's TBL entry: Arizona Heet, Atlantic City Gambits, Avon Aces, Bakersfield Magic, Beaumont Panthers, Connecticut Cobras, Lansing Pharoahs, Lehigh Valley Legends, Reading Rebels, Rockwell 7ERS, Salem Capitals, Tallahassee Southern Kings, Topeka (the Sizzlers?). TBL will come next post here with the ABA.

    The ECBL? Latest news happened to be an LA-based combine in June 12-July 15. No initial markets or teams or announced yet for its March-June 2022 debut:
    https://www.ecbl.ca/ecbl-combine2021
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  4. #904
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    Another departure from NBL Canada has occurred. Not a team this time but a head coach/GM. Mike Leslie has departed from the Halifax Hurricanes with the league still shuttered after a successful run as a model Atlantic Canada NBL Canada franchise in those positions to take over the Acadia Axemen men's basketball bench boss role on an interim basis replacing Kevin Duffie, who left his post there after 8 years to pursue a business career. Leslie actually had his Halifax contract expire in March 2020 when the league shuttered, so he's was, upon his return to coaching, a free agent when he got to Acadia. Duffie's departure and Leslie's interim arrival certainly came at such a late time for the season, an Axemen coaching staff has yet to be fully named:
    https://www.saltwire.com/nova-scotia...dia-100631427/

    If the St. John's Edge are to remain in the Newfoundland capital city, it will be playing at another arena and not at Mile One Centre with a new ABA franchise coming in there this fall from locally-based 2001 Investments Ltd in their former home now banished. The ECHL's Newfoundland Growlers meanwhile, entering its third season, has managed to score a new 3-year lease with the Mile One Centre, the City of St. John's, Deacon Sports and Entertainment, and SJSE. We don't know about whether Dean MacDonald has taken Edge ownership. Also its statement about its current status is "interestingly cryptical, what with the use of the plurals 'teams' and 'facilities' and 'region' instead of 'city' " May suggest it could join ECBL. We don't know regarding its fate until the official announcement.
    https://www.saltwire.com/newfoundlan...urt-100627282/

    And this is how the St. John's Edge and Deacon Sports and Entertainment make their clarification dealing with their arena lease and how they strongly feel St. John's city government really let them down, the incoming new ABA team displacing them, and settling with Carl English:
    https://www.oursportscentral.com/ser...eams/n-5722131
    https://www.oursportscentral.com/ser...team/n-5720302

    Thinking aloud: all these developments and the ones above like with defending champs Moncton leaving coupled with the success of the CEBL may leave an impression of all this being the NBL Canada's last days. Something I would like to touch on very soon.

    The Edmonton Stingers became the first-ever repeat CEBL champion in the league's very short history just a few short weeks ago, and like with the Saskatchewan Rattlers two years ago in Saskatoon. They won it all as host team at the Edmonton Expo Centre. The CEBL's 2021 Championship Weekend in Edmonton came at "an interesting time" for that stage with the pandemic still making raging surges within Canada affecting the CEBL teams. The Niagara River Lions due to health and protection protocols arrived in Edmonton but couldn't practice as a team with everyone involved since their last game on August 9 (a home game at the Meridian Centre in St. Catherines, Ontario), all week until that Friday morning--game day--with 30 minutes of shootaround with everyone on the team roster together, arriving at different times by then. 3 of NRL's American players--Javin DeLaurier, Xavier Sneed, and Tyree White all weren’t affected by the COVID protocols, as they left the team before the regular-season finale at home against the Ottawa BlackJacks and were taking part in NBL Canada mini camps. Practices were conducted on Zoom videos under enforced self-isolation. Even had a positive case on its River Lions roster during its final game at home on August 9.

    Fraser Valley Bandits were without its GM Kyle Julius roaming the sidelines for them in Edmonton, staying in Taiwan to prepare for his team there after an unexpected trip back to Canada this summer visiting friends and family in Ontario while getting vaccinated. Did get to see them in training camp and caught a few games--one at home in Abbotsford, another on the road in St. Catherines against Niagara River Lions, its semifinal opponent serendipitously. Disliked being "in a detached sports manager video game feeling" to Julius. Dave Singleton couldn't coach either then because of testing positive, placing in those protocols. Assistant Tanner Massey coached in that semifinal game. Ottawa BlackJacks had a player positive test before visiting against the Hamilton Honey Badgers with four players who were fully vaccinated and tested negative as the rest of their roster could not play in that Hamilton quarterfinal game, and got permission from the league's commissioner as an exemption to add and suit up six new players:
    https://theprovince.com/sports/baske...cebl-semifinal
    https://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/...inal-game.html

    Fraser Valley appears in the CEBL headlines more recently after Edmonton kept its crown in the possibility the Bandits may no longer be playing at the Abbortsford Events Centre starting in 2022 and beyond. See, the NHL's nearby Vancouver Canucks, under Canucks Sports and Entertainment, is taking over this arena management from Spectra Venue Management effective January 1, 2022 (but working alongside with Spectra), and thus paving the way to take its AHL top minor league ice hockey affiliate the Utica Comets and moved them from New York to Abbotsford, British Columbia. Closer to home to keep tabs on its top prospects. At the time of the takeover, Spectra and the Bandits were working on a longer-term extension and tenacy agreements at the Abbotsford Events Centre after a series of one-year agreements as one of the league's stronger markets. This transition causes a serious delay in reaching an agreement that usually gets striked late summer/early fall for the league while willing to eventually talk with Canucks Sports and Entertainment; the Bandits aren't mad because they're not a priority to the incoming entity right now as its occupied with other things right now. Furthermore, the CEBL would be happy to have the Vancouver Canucks as a strong owner and operator should that happens. Still, the Bandits, like any good business, will look towards and evaluate other options in making their decisions but ultimately hope the Fraser Valley Bandits remain in Abbotsford. Also, the Bandits Athletic Centre, a multi-sport facility open to adult and youth sports groups in basketball, fitness, baseball, softball, and volleyball which has been located at West Oaks Mall in Abbotsford since earlier this year, may have to find a new home following a one-year lease. Like with the franchise itself, it already explored other opportunities and found some in Abbotsford "to continue to provide the community what we¬’ve been providing them with for the last year.¬”:
    https://www.bclocalnews.com/sports/n...tre-in-2022-2/

    And one of those options the Fraser Valley Bandits is potentially eyeing is located much closer to Vancouver in suburban Langley with the 5276-seat Langley Events Centre, currently home to the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League, Langley-based Trinity Western University Athletics Basketball and Volleyball, Langley Thunder of the Western Lacrosse Association as well as the junior Thunder teams and the B.C.C High School Basketball Championships (formerly hosted the NLL's Vancouver Warriors before the Vancouver Canucks took its ownership and operations and moving them to the Rogers Arena). Makes sense in some ways if it happens. The LEC always is interested and talking to groups in bringing more teams and events in its building, and it's also the home of the Basketball BC's office. Basketball BC and the Bandits have partnered in the Summer Slam youth basketball tournament and also participated in a Rotary Lottery 50/50 Mega Draw in Langley. A team renaming would obviously be in order:
    https://www.bclocalnews.com/sports/r...ng-to-langley/

    On the Eastern Canadian Basketball League's Twitter account, Tim Kendrick is currently visiting multiple prospective Atlantic Canada markets and their arenas since August. Talking to the CBC's Nova Scotia, PEI, and New Brunswick regions, CTV, and Eastlink:
    https://twitter.com/ecbl_ca?lang=en
    Last edited by Durbansandshark; 09-09-2021 at 10:27 AM.
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  5. #905
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    CBC Sports' Vivek Jacob is joined by CEBL Weekly's Sean Woodley and Ottawa BlackJacks' Elias El-Zein to preview Edmonton's 2021 CEBL Championship Weekend:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsWQ6qwCycM

    Niagara River Lions advance to the 2021 CEBL Championship leaving the Fraser Valley Bandits' and their fans heartbroken for a possible championship rematch with Edmonton in a tough 84-82 CEBL semifinal win with a Phil Scrubb 3-point dagger. Finally making it to the CEBL Championship:
    http://fraservalleynewsnetwork.com/2...bl-semi-final/
    https://www.bclocalnews.com/sports/f...ebl-semifinal/
    https://www.niagarafallsreview.ca/sp...er-valley.html

    Over 1-minute of the final moments from that semifinal with Scrubb's three taken from a fan at the Edmonton Expo Centre:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuuDu_tpF3o

    Stingers ready to face its semifinal rivals the Ottawa BlackJacks, the only team that handed Edmonton its only blemish this year, and aiming for serious revenge in the other semifinal with the Stingers home fans cheering them after Niagara advanced. On paper, to quote Edmonton Journal's Robert Tychkowski: "a semi-final that pits a 13-1 team [Edmonton] against a 4-10 team [Ottawa] sounds a lot like a semi-final that pits a 1987 Pinto full of crash test dummies against a brick wall." Since that July loss, there were some significant changes on both teams but more on Ottawa's side. Mission accomplished for Edmonton 94-87 despite Ottawa refusing to go away.
    https://edmontonjournal.com/sports/b...2-3eab87b418ce
    https://edmontonjournal.com/sports/b...6-7aa4278e4274
    https://ottawasun.com/sports/basketb...9-38cddeecdcb7

    Edmonton Stingers placing an emphatic exclamation point onto its near-perfect season at 15-1 soundly beating Niagara 101-65 in the largest margin of victory in the CEBL postseason as the first team to repeat as champs in the Canadian Elite Basketball League. Got to do this in front of their fans unlike last year with Xavier Moon named CEBL Championship MVP again:
    https://edmontonjournal.com/sports/b...1-6ee21b374fc2
    https://edmontonjournal.com/sports/b...7-1eab0d2aeddf
    https://www.niagarafallsreview.ca/ts...-in-a-row.html
    https://www.niagarafallsreview.ca/sp...itle-game.html

    Final moments of the 2021 CEBL Championship game with a loud supportive crowd in tow and award presentation. Also recorded by TheCos10:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgFyapOmsqk

    Ward1Studio produced again a CEBL Championship highlight film lasting just over 12 minutes for the Edmonton edition as the stage was set as the top two teams of the CEBL all season long battling it out on August 22, 2021 at the Expo Centre in Edmonton. Soak in the behind-the-scenes and on-court drama, emotions, and intensity from that 2021 CEBL Championship Finals:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBYebcfPhFU
    Last edited by Durbansandshark; 10-09-2021 at 09:37 AM.
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  6. #906
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    Further details on Topeka's TBL entry, announced this past month. Still nameless but I would expect the Sizzlers to move up from the ABA since the name resonates well in the basketball community and how the TBL tends to channel the former Continental Basketball Association. Under a different business model than in the CBA or more like in the not-mentioned-in-this article ABA current Sizzlers version to assure success, Topeka will compete with and travel only to nearby states against other TBL teams to save costs during the regular season--in regions while seeking in particular to feature former college players from the areas in which they are located,. Shawn Smith is Topeka's president. The Basketball League Also plans to grow towards 47 teams across the USA. Arena and coach has yet to be finalized but is owned by the Alpha Sports Group:
    https://www.cjonline.com/story/news/...ll/8167034002/

    Profile on the new Rockwell 7ERS centering on owner Sammie Howard with former Wayland Baptist University standout hoops player Katie Bryson serving as the teamís General Manager while her husband Kendrick Bryson, a West Texas native who earned all kinds of accolades in his seven-year coaching stint at Irving The Highlands School, including Coach of the Year honors, takes the reigns as the Head Coach of the Rockwall 7ers:
    https://blueribbonnews.com/2021/08/t...sketball-team/
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

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