Canadian Elite Basketball League to Return to Action
The Canadian Elite Basketball League announced last month that they will be returning to play with the Summer Series Tournament.
The CEBL will be the first professional sports league to resume play in Canada since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the pause of all other leagues.
This will be only the second season of the basketball league, so here is everything you need to know about the CEBL and the Summer Series Tournament.
How Will it Work?
The Canadian Elite Basketball League is made up of seven teams across Canada. They will meet in St. Catharines, Ontario and play all 26 games out of the Meridian Centre.
Each team will participate in a round-robin to determine seedings for the playoff round. After the round-robin, only the top six teams will advance into the single-elimination playoff round. The top two teams will earn a bye into the semi-finals. From there, a champion will be crowned on August 9th.
The games in this tournament will not be like your average basketball game. Every game, playoff or round-robin aside, will be using the “Elam Ending” scoring system.
How this works is, for the first three quarters, the game clock will run its regular ten minute quarters. In the fourth quarter, the game clock will be taken off at the first stoppage of play at or after the four-minute mark. A target score will be set and the first team to reach that target score will be victorious.
The target score is set by adding nine points to the team leading at that point. For example: If Team A is beating Team B by a score of 80-76, the target score would be set at 89. This means the first team to reach 89 points will be the winners of that game.
This also means each and every game will end on a basket, making for some very exciting endings.
This system was used for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game.
Now that you know how the tournament will work, let’s get ourselves familiar with the teams participating in it.
Fraser Valley Bandits
Located in Abbotsford British Colombia, the Bandits represent the whole Fraser Valley area of the province.
The Bandits would like to rebound with a strong tournament this summer after finishing dead last in the CEBL’s inaugural season.
They will need to do this without their star player from last season Jelan Kendrick, who Signed in Mexico. The Bandits will now need to depend on point guard and hometown boy, Marek Klassen to carry the offensive load.
Edmonton looks to build off of an impressive season where they finished second place in the regular season boasting a record of 14-6.
The Stingers have a lineup oozing of skill with talent from NCAA, USports and Europe as well. With that being said, the player on this team to watch for is Xavier Moon who averaged nearly 20 points a game last season.
The Rattlers will come into this tournament hungry for a repeat to show that their championship last season was no fluke.
It is going to be a little tougher this summer for the Rattlers as their two top scorers from last season are no longer with the team.
This will mean a greater role for former Raptors 905 player Negus-Webster Chan in the offence.
Guelph is also looking to bounce back from a disappointing season last year. The Nighthawks finished with a season record of 6-14 losses last season and failed to make the playoffs.
To add insult to injury, their top scorer from last season, Connor Wood is no longer with the team. This leaves an opportunity for Jamal Reynolds to step up and fill the void.
Reynolds averaged 16 points per game last year for the Nighthawks and hopes to improve on that this season for Guelph.
Hamilton Honey Badgers
The Honey Badgers finished with a respectable record last season of 10-10 and were good enough to reach the semi-finals.
Niagara River Lions
The River Lions have revenge on their mind this summer as they finished as the runners-up last season, despite finishing first place in the regular season.
Niagara signed the previously mentioned Ryan Ejim for this season. He hopes to bring that championship pedigree to the Lions.
The Lions have also held onto leading scorer from last season in Guillaume Payen-Boucard. He averaged over 16 points a year ago.
Ottawa Black Jacks
The Black Jacks are the newest team in the league and will be making their debut in this tournament.
The Scrubb brothers are Canadian basketball royalty. They have represented Canada on numerous tournaments for the senior men’s national team. The brothers have also played on some of the biggest teams in Europe.
Having this duo will make Ottawa a very fun team to watch in this tournament. They could definitely surprise a lot of people as the new kids on the block.
Where to Watch
CBC has partnered with the Canadian Elite Basketball League and will be showing a select number of games on their main network when the tournament opens on July 25th. The entirety of the championship weekend will also be televised nationally on CBC from August 8th to 9th.
Any other game not shown on TV can be seen on CBCSports.ca.