Abbotsford, B.C. - A year of anticipation paid off last night as the Fraser Valley Bandits played their inaugural game in the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL). In front of a packed audience at the Abbotsford Centre, the Bandits played against the Guelph Nighthawks. The Bandits roster was different than their ‘drafted’ team as many of the players drafted are still late in-season / playoffs with their professional seasons abroad which says a lot about the strength and depth of the players Bandits fans can expect to see this season.
British Columbia basketball products Joel Friesen (Abbotsford, B.C.) and Drew Urquhart (Vancouver, B.C.) were joined by current UBC Athletes Grant Shephard and Mason Bourcier on the opening night roster representing B.C.
While the Nighthawks would win the opening tip, the energy in the arena would not be drained as the hometown crowd was 100% behind their new team. At the half, the Bandits would trail by three points 53-50 entering the locker rooms. The second half would be no different as the game would exchange back-and-forth action right to the buzzer. With the final possession of the game trailing three points, the final Bandits three point attempt would come up short and the Nighthawks would get the road win on the CEBL’s first night.
Post game, Drew Urquhart said playing in his hometown was ‘big for basketball in Vancouver.’. On the home crowd, Drew added ‘the atmosphere was rocking tonight’. The Bandits next game will be on the road May 18th in a rematch against the Guelph Nighthawks. The next game at the Abbotsford Centre is Wednesday May 22nd against the Hamilton Honey Badgers. For tickets visit https://www.thebandits.ca/. For the FULL Photo Album from the Inaugural Fraser Valley Bandits game, head to the Vancouver Basketball Facebook Page.