March 19, 2013 - International Basketball League (IBL)
Vancouver, Wash. - The International Basketball League has released the full schedule for the upcoming 2013 season with a Championship Challenge, Battle of the Bridges and international competition.
Tipping off the season in Bellingham on April 19 are the 2012 IBL Champion Bellingham Slam versus the 2011 Champion Vancouver Volcanoes, who have never won on the Slam's home court of Whatcom Pavilion.
"We're excited to get the 2013 season underway, and there is no better way to do it than against another great organization like the Volcanoes," said Slam Head Coach Rob Ridnour.
"It's always good to play the defending champion early in the season, just to get a gauge on where our team is. Coach Ridnour always does such a great job with their execution, it will be a good test for our defense, " Head Coach Joe Navarro of the Volcanoes stated.
Battle of the Bridges will be hosted by the Vancouver Volcanoes April 27, after their Fan Fest on April 21 at Clark College, where they split with the Portland Chinooks last season 2-2. Both the Volcanoes and the Chinooks won one at home and one on the road in 2012 and will battle it out at the home opener for the Volcanoes.
"Portland always presents a match-up problem with their size and ability to shoot the ball on the perimeter. Most of their players can play multiple positions so it's difficult to stay with one defensive scheme for very long. These two rosters know each other very well, it's turned into a bit of a rivalry with the players, " Coach Navarro shared as the host for their first game facing the Chinooks this season.
Portland will open their season May 3 at their new home, East Moreland Courts, also owned by Chinooks Team Owner, Terry Emmert. The Chinooks will face the Slam who took the trophy from Portland last season.
"We are looking for a championship, plain and simple. With Coach Trev Kiser and Coach Clif Wegner from Clackamas Community College leading the team, assisted by player coach David Lucas and key returning pieces such as Jared Cunningham who was with the NBA Development League's Idaho Stampede, I think we have a good shot," Emmert declared. "t was always in the plans to promote basketball and volleyball in Oregon and to help provide youth and adults with an opportunity to participate. Now we have four facilities in Oregon with 14 courts, the centerpiece being the new home of the Portland Chinooks at Eastmoreland Courts Club in Portland."
The ninth spring-summer season of the IBL also sees the return of their partner, the Basketball Japan League (BJ League) with the Nippon Tornadoes as an improved team building towards their ultimate challenge, placing a Japanese player in the NBA.
Taking a year away from full season of play the Olympia Reign, who will see a few games this season, and Edmonton Energy each with five years in the IBL will be back on the court in full force for 2014 with the Yamhill Highflyers seeking a partner in their community. New teams and rivals will compete from San Francisco to Houston, Salem to Seattle with more announcements to come on teams and the league this week.
The IBL's 2013 season schedule is available at www.ibl.com/schedule and tickets are available at www.ibl.com/tickets .
Tryouts for players to be a part of the IBL are set for Seattle April 7 at North Seattle Community College. For more information, visit www.ibl.com/tryouts .