(Burlington, Ont.) The Bulldogs to Quebec outlasted provincial rivals the Gladiateurs de Laval 64-62 to seize the gold medal at the 2014 Canadian Wheelchair Basketball League (CWBL) National Championship at the Haber Recreation Centre in Burlington, Ont. on Sunday.
A rematch of last year’s final, the championship match was a physical affair as neither team wanted to concede an inch on the court. Ultimately, the Bulldogs avenged their loss to the defending-champion Gladiateurs.
“This win is redemption for us and it’s the first time we’ve won the championship so this is really great for our team,” said Bulldogs captain Maxime Poulin.
“This win is redemption for us and it’s the first time we’ve won the championship”
After multiple lead changes throughout the contest, the Bulldogs held a three-point advantage with one minute left to play. Gladiateurs player Yvon Rouillard drew a foul while converting a clutch layup and dropped the ensuing free throw to tie the game at 62 apiece with 47 seconds remaining on the clock. Poulin then countered with a late field goal to give the Bulldogs the two-point lead and Quebec would hold on for the win.
Poulin scored a game-high 33 points for the Bulldogs and later received the tournament’s most valuable player award. Carl Pelletier led the Gladiateurs offence with 20 points.
In the bronze medal game the BC Royals were victorious 79-58 over the Variety Village Rebels. Ross MacDonald paced the floor with 29 points in favour of the Royals while Jesse McNalley and Team Canada alum James Treuer led the offensive charge for the Rebels with 25 and 22 points, respectively.
Vincent Dallaire (Bulldogs de Quebec), Tyler Miller (Twin City Spinners), Yvon Rouillard (Gladiateurs de Laval), Ross MacDonald (BC Royals), and Marc-Antoine Ducharme (Gladiateurs de Laval) were selected as first team all-stars. Jonathan Vermette (Bulldogs de Quebec), Philippe Vermette (Bulldogs de Quebec), Kylee Evjen (Alberta Northern Lights), Deion Green (BC Royals) and Carl Pelletier (Gladiateurs de Laval) were named second team all-stars.
The medal games concluded three days of intense wheelchair basketball competition in which 12 club teams from across Canada showcased their speed, skill and athleticism.
1. Bulldogs de Quebec
2. Gladiateurs de Laval
3. BC Royals
4. Variety Village Rebels
5. Twin City Spinners
6. Alberta Northern Lights
7. Saskatchewan Club ‘99
8. Saskatchewan Paratroopers
9. Vaughan City Lashers
10. Southern Ontario Suns
11. London Flyers
12. Burlington Vipers
About the Canadian Wheelchair Basketball League
The Canadian Wheelchair Basketball League (CWBL) was founded in 1986 and has two primary divisions: the Open division and the Women’s division. The league features wheelchair basketball club teams from across Canada and culminates each season with a national championship for both the Open and Women’s divisions.
The league is fully integrated as both divisions welcome athletes with a disability as well as able-bodied athletes to play in the spirit of competition. It often features some of the country’s best wheelchair basketball players, including past, present and future members of Team Canada.