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Battle of Best in the West as Winnipeg Sea Bears Visit Calgary Surge

June 18, 2023 - Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL)
Winnipeg Sea Bears News Release


The Winnipeg Sea Bears (-113) look to tie things up in the race for first place in the West as they visit the Calgary Surge (-120) on Sunday at 2:00 pm local/4:00 pm ET from the WinSport Event Centre.

The game will be available for streaming live on TSN+, CEBL+ powered by BetVictor, and on the CEBL Mobile app available on iOS and Android devices.

It'll not only be the first of three regular season matchups between Winnipeg and Calgary, but also the first time these teams go head-to-head ever. As the CEBL's two newest teams, with the Sea Bears joining through expansion and the Surge coming through relocation (previously Guelph Nighthawks), they've never had an opportunity to compete against one another before today.

This matchup will also feature the league's most productive offense taking on the best defense as the Sea Bears score a CEBL-high 91.1 points per game while the Surge allow a CEBL-low 79.9 points per game. It'll truly be a battle to see which side of the ball comes out on top, an elite offense or a stifling defense.

Winnipeg enters the game with a 5-2 record and sole possession of top spot in the West. They are also winners of four of their last five contests and are coming off a dominant 110-89 victory over the defending champion Brampton Honey Badgers. A big part of their performance was the 20 three-pointers they drained along the way, not only setting their own season-high mark, but also becoming just the second time this season to hit 20 or more threes in a game.

A big contributor to those 20 made threes was Teddy Allen who strapped nine on his own, tying the CEBL record for most three-pointers made in a single game. He ended up scoring 40 points on the night on an efficient 50 per cent from the field and 64 per cent from deep. His scoring outburst was the forward's second 40-point outing of the season and bumped him up to second in the leagues' scoring title race at 27.3 points per game.

Rebounding was also a factor in the win for the Sea Bears as they finished the game a +15 on the glass, grabbing 21 offensive rebounds in the process and finishing a +12 on second chance points. They come into this game as the league's second-ranked team for total (44.1 RPG) and offensive rebounds (14 ORPG) per game.

Look for the battle on the glass to directly impact this game's outcome as Winnipeg's offensive rebounding ability will be challenged as they take on the league's second-best defensive rebounding team in Calgary (32.4 RPG).

The Surge (5-3) enter this contest as losers of back-to-back games for the first time this season and having lost in three of their last five games. Calgary's most recent defeat coming via an 83-75 loss to the Montréal Alliance last Friday. In that game the team shot decent from the field but struggled scoring from distance and the charity stripe.

If the Surge are going to win, not only will they need their elite defense to perform, but they'll also have to keep pace offensively. Shooting 7-21 from three won't help their case, nor will missing 10 free-throws, both of which they did in their last game.

Calgary is already the lowest-scoring team in the CEBL at 80.7 points per game, and weakest three-point shooting team at 25 per cent. They'll not only need to rely on their defense to contain their opponent's production but also find more ways to score in order to match Winnipeg's output.

Fortunately, the Surge are one of the strongest teams at scoring the ball from inside the three-point line. They currently make over 50 per cent of their baskets worth two points, while the Sea Bears make a league-low 46.3 per cent. If Calgary can limit Winnipeg's production from distance and make the most of their opportunities inside, they'll have a good chance at winning this game.

Another area where the Surge will have to focus on is the turnover battle. They currently commit the most turnovers in the league at 16.7 a game, while the Sea Bears are the league's most disciplined team committing just 11 on average.

If the Surge don't limit the extra possessions given to their opponents, it won't help their case as they try to snap their losing skid and get back in the win column.

All games will also be streamed live internationally on the CEBL's OTT platform, CEBL+ powered by BetVictor, and on the CEBL Mobile app for iOS and Android devices. Full list of betting props available on BetVictor.

A league created by Canadians for Canadians, the CEBL has the highest percentage of Canadian players of any professional league in the country, with 71 percent of its current rosters being Canadians. Players bring experience from the NBA, NBA G League, top international leagues, the Canadian National team program, and top NCAA programs as well as U SPORTS. The only First Division Professional League Partner of Canada Basketball. The CEBL season runs from May through August. Head to CEBL.ca for more information or follow us (@cebleague) on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn, Facebook & YouTube.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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