(Scarborough, Ont.) Provincial rivals the Bulldogs de Quebec and the Gladiateurs de Laval will battle for the gold medal at the 2015 Canadian Wheelchair Basketball League (CWBL) National Championship at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre in Scarborough, Ont. The Variety Village Rebels and the National Academy team will face off in the bronze medal game.
The defending champion Bulldogs and the Gladiateurs will meet in the championship final and decide the national club title for the third consecutive year.
“The Bulldogs are a team we know very well. We play them five or six times per year and this is the third year in a row we’ll play them in the final, so we know that we have to play a very good game tomorrow in order to be on top,” said Laval player and coach Marc-Antoine Ducharme. “We are very excited to be in the final again,” he added.
The bronze medal contest is set for 9 a.m. ET on Sunday, followed by the championship match at 11 a.m. ET. Both games will be webcast live via SportsCanada.tv.
Round robin play concluded Saturday with the B.C. Royals (2-2) securing fifth place at the event, while the Alberta Northern Lights (2-3) finished in sixth place. CIVA de Montreal (2-3) placed seventh and the winless Burlington Vipers (0-4) and Southern Ontario Suns (0-4) finished the tournament in eighth and ninth place, respectively.
Game 11 – Variety Village 67 vs. Alberta Northern Lights 48
Variety Village stretched its winning streak to three games with a 67-48 triumph over the Alberta Northern Lights to open the second day of the tournament. The contest proved tight through the opening half before the Rebels broke out in the third quarter to take command. Adam Lancia posted 23 points for Variety Village. Bradon Doll was solid for Alberta with 23 points, while teammate Arinn Young provided the secondary scoring with 15 points.
Game 12 – Bulldogs de Quebec 76 vs. CIVA de Montreal 32
The Bulldogs set the tone early, racing to a 21-9 advantage in the opening 10 minutes of the game. CIVA struggled to keep pace with the torrid Bulldogs attack, as Quebec continued to convert on the offensive opportunities en route to the decisive win. Maxime Poulin delivered a massive 32-point effort for the Bulldogs. Brothers Benjamin and Nicolas Palmer each registered 13 points for CIVA.
Game 13 – Gladiateurs de Laval 72 vs. National Academy 65
The Gladiateurs de Laval earned a berth to the championship game courtesy of a 72-65 win against the National Academy club team. Laval dominated the scoreboard in the two middle frames before a late comeback push by the Academy in the final quarter ultimately fell short. Team Canada veteran David Eng led the charge with 30 points, including a trio of three-pointers, for the Gladiateurs. Fellow national team player Bo Hedges tallied 21 points for the Academy side, with teammate Mitch Bossaer dropping 20 points.
Game 14 – B.C. Royals 63 vs. Burlington Vipers 38
The B.C. Royals finished third in pool B after edging the Burlington Vipers 63-38. The Royals established their reign on the scoreboard by outscoring the Vipers 22-10 to start the game and never looked back. The Vipers placed fourth in the pool with the loss. Avril Harris produced a team-high 22 points for the Royals, while Vipers player Aaron Moseley-Williams matched that output with 32 points for Burlington.
Game 15 – Bulldogs de Quebec 66 vs. Variety Village 52
The Bulldogs de Quebec punched their ticket to the gold medal game and locked up first place in pool A by ousting the Variety Village Rebels 66-52 in the afternoon. The hotly contested match started as a back-and-forth battle before Quebec widened the gap in the second quarter to take a 35-25 lead at halftime. The Rebels pushed to erase the deficit but Quebec matched their intensity down the stretch. Maxime and Mickael Poulin each produced 22 points for the Bulldogs. Adam Lancia scored 19 points for Variety Village.
“It was a crucial matchup and it’s too bad that we just weren’t able to execute our game plan 100 per cent. In the second quarter in particular it resulted in Quebec getting some really easy layups. When you give a good team like that easy layups they aren’t going to miss too many. Unfortunately we weren’t able to come down the other way and generate the same type of easy baskets. Our shooting percentage at the end of the game and the score reflect that. That’s why tomorrow we absolutely have to execute the entire game plan in order to be successful and get the bronze,” said Variety Village player Adam Lancia.
“Both games tomorrow are going to very close and I wouldn’t be willing to lose any money betting on either the outcomes,” he added.
Game 16 – Alberta Northern Lights 68 vs. Southern Ontario Suns 40
The Northern Lights overpowered the Southern Ontario Suns 68-40. With the loss the Suns placed fifth in pool A and concluded the tournament in ninth place. Backed by the strength of a 22-6 run in the second quarter, Alberta used its depth to secure the win as each player factored in on the scoreboard. Bradon Doll was the top point producer for the Lights with 18 points, while Ben Moronchuk added 16 points for the Alberta side. Kevin Wakeling led the Suns with 14 points.
Game 17 – B.C. Royals 61 vs. Alberta Northern Lights 53
The Alberta Northern Lights and B.C. Royals contested an intense game to decide fifth place, with the Royals coming out on top 61-53. The opening half of the match was a seesaw battle that resulted in a 28-26 edge in favour of the Royals. Ross MacDonald drove the offence for the Royals with 21 points, while Ben Moronchuk had 17 points for the Lights.
Game 18 – CIVA de Montreal 56 vs. Burlington Vipers 33
CIVA de Montreal captured seventh place with a 56-33 victory against the Burlington Vipers. Benjamin Palmer led the Montreal club with a team-best 24 points, while Aaron Moseley-Williams collected 17 points for the eighth place 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.
About Wheelchair Basketball Canada
Wheelchair Basketball Canada is the national sports governing body responsible for the organization of the sport in Canada. It is a non-profit, charitable organization that is committed to excellence in the development, support and promotion of wheelchair basketball programs and services for all Canadians from grassroots to high performance. Wheelchair basketball is a fast-paced, hard-hitting, competitive sport in which Canada is held in high esteem around the world for winning a combined six gold, one silver, and one bronze medal in the last six Paralympic Games.