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Scarborough and Montréal Chase Playoff Spot in National Television Clash

July 19, 2023 - Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) - Scarborough Shooting Stars News Release


The Scarborough Shooting Stars (8-7) (+118) and Montréal Alliance (7-9) (-163) will both look to start a win streak in a matchup with eastern conference playoff implications tonight on TSN at 7:30 p.m. ET at the Verdun Auditorium.

The game will also be available on TSN 4/5 and RDS as well as for streaming on TSN+, CEBL+ powered by BetVictor, and on the CEBL Mobile app available on iOS and Android devices.

The Alliance, fresh off a comeback win on the road over the Vancouver Bandits on Sunday, have been off for the last two days- but saw their playoff chances improve with a Brampton Honey Badgers loss to the Saskatchewan Rattlers on Monday night.

Entering that night, Brampton was a half game behind Montréal for the final play-in spot in the east. The Honey Badgers ultimately lost a nail biter on a Justin Wright-Foreman game-winning shot in transition, giving Montréal a one game lead over Brampton for the conference's play-in spot.

The Alliance are also only one and a half games behind Scarborough for third place in the east.

It was Treveon Graham who led the way for the Alliance in their win over Vancouver. The four-year NBA veteran scored a season-high 24 points on 47 per cent shooting. Graham is nearly averaging a double-double for the year- scoring over 14 points and snatching 9.3 rebounds per game.

Ahmed Hill scored 17 points in that contest, which was just shy of his 19.9 per game average.

But he received plenty of attention in Vancouver- including a box-and-one defence strategy by the Bandits- and let his teammates shoulder some of the offensive load. Alliance head coach Derrick Alston Sr. highlighted the guard's passiveness after the game.

"Ahmed is really unselfish. He became a screener, and we got open shots for all the other guys," he said.

Ahead of today's game, the Alliance bolstered their backcourt with the signing of American guard Derek Brown Jr., who averaged 5.3 points and 1.7 rebounds in three games with the Bandits this season.

Also on Sunday, the Shooting Stars snapped a two-game losing skid with a 90-84 win over the Niagara River Lions. Cat Barber scored a game-high 28 points, as Scarborough held reigning CEBL MVP Khalil Ahmad to 15 points on 5-13 shooting from the field.

Scarborough dismantled Montréal in their last meeting, a 104-72 victory at the Verdun Auditorium.

If the Shooting Stars want to replicate that performance, and stay ahead of Montréal in the eastern conference playoff race, they will have to slow down Graham, who went off for 22 points in that game and is fresh off his best offensive showing of the season.

Expect a combination of Kyree Walker and Kalif Young to take on the assignment against the Alliance bigs. Walker is putting up 12 points and 5 boards per contest, while Young is scoring 7 points and adding 7 rebounds a game.

Outside of the paint, the Alliance will need to get their three pointers to fall to secure their second straight win.

Although Montréal has been more efficient behind the arch than Scarborough this season- converting over nine threes per game and more than 33 per cent of their attempts from long range- the Shooting Stars shot better than 50 per cent from three in their last meeting with the Alliance, nailing 15 of 29 three point attempts.

The Alliance, meanwhile, saw 6 of their 26 threes hit the bottom of the basket.

In total, as a team, the Shooting Stars come into tonight's game with a nearly four point edge in points scored per game, and are averaging roughly three more rebounds than the Alliance

After tonight's game, these two teams will face off at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre on July 21.

Montréal will then return home for a massive showdown against the Brampton Honey Badgers on Sunday July 23. Scarborough has a home-and-home series with the Honey Badgers scheduled for next week.

Full broadcast schedule of CEBL Games of the Week on TSN can be found here. All games will also be streamed live internationally on the CEBL's OTT platform, CEBL+, and on the CEBL Mobile app for iOS and Android devices.

A league created by Canadians for Canadians with a mission to develop Canadian players, coaches, sports executives, and referees, the CEBL boasts the highest percentage of Canadian players of any pro league in the country with 71 percent of its 2022 rosters being Canadian. Players bring experience from the NBA, NBA G League, top international pro leagues, the Canadian National team program, and top NCAA programs as well as U SPORTS. Nine players have moved from the CEBL into the NBA following a CEBL season, and 28 CEBL players attended NBA G League training camps during October. The CEBL season runs from May through August. More information about the CEBL is available at CEBL.ca and @cebleague on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn, Facebook & YouTube.

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