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Calgary Surge united for Canadian Elite Basketball League playoffs – GooPdf News

Calgary Surge united for Canadian Elite Basketball League playoffs – GooPdf News

‘Playoff-ready’ Calgary club peaking at perfect point of inaugural season

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The Calgary Surge are living up to their name.

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At just the right time, too.

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With playoffs mere hours away, the Canadian Elite Basketball League club appears to be at the top of its game, surging into the Western Conference semifinal contest on a three-game win streak and on top of the division.

“Yeah, yeah … they’re playoff ready, for sure,” Surge head coach Nelson Terroba said. “They defend. They execute better and better. They share the basketball. And they play for each other. So those are parts of the recipe that you want in terms of winning games that matter.”

“Definitely ready for playoffs,” Surge starting guard Sean Miller-Moore agreed. “I think just stay focused. Every different every team has a different set of plays, and it’s just locking and paying attention to details. There’s gonna be a lot of details when you’re in the playoffs. So that’s what we’re looking forward to doing.”

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Most of all, they’re looking forward to doing it together when the top-spot Surge (12-8) take to the post-season court Sunday against either the Winnipeg Sea Bears (12-8) or the Edmonton Stingers (9-11) — the winner of Friday’s late Western Conference play-in game — at WinSport Event Centre (7 p.m., TSN4).

Yeah, this group — together for the first time as the city’s newest professional sports team — has become united for a run at glory.

The proof is in the statistics.

Miller-Moore leads the Surge with an average of 16.5 points per game.

Big forward Simi Shittu is just behind him at 15.5 per tilt.

Then it’s guard Stefan Smith with 14.6.

From there, the Surge production goes five deep to the 9.9 poured in by Admon Gilder Jr.

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By comparison, four of the other playoff teams have one guy going hard for them in the scoring department.

The Sea Bears have CEBL MVP front-runner Teddy Allen and his 27.2 points per game.

The Scarborough Shooting Stars boast Cat Barber and his 20 ppg.

Christian Vital leads the Brampton Honey Badgers with 19.7 ppg.

And the Eastern Conference-champion Niagara River Lions sport Khalil Ahmad and his 19.56 ppg.

“On any given night, there’s about five or six guys who could help us win a game and trusting that we can all relax and let that happen,” Terroba said. “And, yeah, our team needs it. And we’re happy to have it. And I think it’s good that they’re starting to see more and more on every night and that it can be part of our identity.

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“So we’re a connected team and a sharing team. It’s a fun, fun situation, and our guys are a fun group to watch play.”

That makes them more like the Ottawa BlackJacks and the rival Edmonton Stingers, both of whom have similar wide-spread scoring.

But nobody has the defence shown by the Surge. They are tops in that category, allowing a league-low 81.5 points a game. And that’s a significant point of pride to lean on when chasing a championship.

Plus there’s that recent run that’s got them all a twitter at exactly the perfect point in the campaign.

“There’s no team out there that never has their dips, and I feel like we had our dip in the season, but it was early,” Surge guard Mason Bourcier said. “It’s nice to have the first five wins and get hyped up early. And then we have that dip where you were going through a lot of losses late.

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“But in these (recent) games, (the unity) really shows because we’re going into the second half saying, ‘OK, it’s fundamentals — we know what’s going wrong here, and we’re making adjustments.’ We’re making the adjustments and showing it, whereas before, I don’t know if we were making the adjustments. We were just hoping the ball kind of rolled our way. So it definitely shows the maturity.

“Seeing how our team can go, ‘Alright, we need a little wake-up call here,’ and guys put their egos to the side, and instead of trying to play hero ball, which is what I thought we were doing mid-season — which is how we lost those games — we’re really moving and trusting each other.

“But having these three wins to end the season, you can’t really have a better peak going into playoffs.”

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It helps even more that they’re on their own court at WinSport for this winner-take-all contest to land a spot in the CEBL’s Championship Weekend, hosted by the rival Fraser Valley Bandits on Aug. 11-13 in Langley, B.C.

“First year getting chance to host playoffs for the first game … wow,” said Bourcier, with a grin. “The crowd is an energy booster. I just love playing for these fans. Like, whether it’s half sold-out fully sold-out, the energy feels the same every game, so that’s that’s a sign of a pretty impressive crowd.

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“And you’re getting to see some some high level basketball — not just in Canada but North America and even the world,” added Bourcier. “You get a team that’s really well-coached. We’re a bunch of really young up-and-coming talent. I mean … you’re getting a win-win situation when you come to watch.”


The CEBL’s play-in games tip off Friday night in Winnipeg and Toronto, where the Eastern Conference matchup pits the host Shooting Stars (11-9) against the Honey Badgers (8-12) … The winner of that 3-v-4 tilt in the East moves on to play the BlackJacks (12-8), also Sunday (5 p.m., TSN4), to decide the fourth finalist for the CEBL Championship Weekend … The River Lions (13-7) were awarded a spot in the final four thanks to their first-place finish in the East … As hosts, the Bandits (8-12) also get into the championship dance.


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