Bandits players mob Ola Asaholu after he drained the winning shot in Saturday’s semifinal game. (Submitted)

Fraser Valley Bandits advance to CEBL Championship Game

Bandits post comeback 76-75 win over Hamilton Honey Badgers in Saturday’s semifinal

It wasn’t pretty at all, but the Fraser Valley Bandits have advanced to the Canadian Elite Basketball League final.

The Bandits trailed for much of the game, but the Elam Ending saw the club keep pushing and refuse to go away to squeak out a 76-75 win over the Hamilton Honey Badgers on Saturday morning.

Hamilton was up 73-67 with an Elam Ending target score of 76, but a little bit of hero ball followed. Hamilton missed three straight three point shot attempts and meanwhile the Bandits kept chipping away at the lead. Fraser Valley eventually went up 74-73, but Hamilton responded with a field goal to go up 75-74 with the Bandits getting the ball back.

Olu Ashaolu then battled in the paint to get the winning shot and send the Bandits to the final with the 76-75 win.

“Honestly that wasn’t the play,” he said, following the winning shot. “I set the screen, I didn’t get tagged. Junior [Cadougan] found me, I was looking for a foul or some contact and nothing came so I took my time and finished.”

Ashaolu said last year’s struggles are not on the Bandits mind as they prepare for the championship game.

“It’s a whole new team,” he said. “You can’t judge this team by last year’s performance. We’re going for the gold, we came here to win this.”

Hamilton shot better, grabbed more rebounds and controlled the game, but the Bandits hung around and got hot when it mattered.

Fraser Valley also faced some adversity when versatile forward Marcus Capers, who had been defending Hamilton’s post players, received a technical foul in the third quarter. As he returned to the bench Capers kicked the advertising sign at the scorers table and then was disqualified from the game. No word on the condition of the sign.

It was an all-around team effort in the win, but the Bandits were led by Malcom Duvivier, who played nearly the entire game and collected 18 points and eight rebounds. Abbotsford’s Marek Klassen also had a strong game with 12 points and four rebounds. Jahenns Manigat added 13 points, six assists and four rebounds.

Fraser Valley will take on the winner of today’s game between the Edmonton Stingers and the Ottawa Blackjacks. The CEBL Championship Game is set for 9 a.m. on Sunday.

Visit abbynews.com for coverage of tomorrow’s championship game.

RELATED: Fraser Valley Bandits clinch first round bye with win

abbotsfordbasketball

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COLUMN: We don’t need an election. But it’s 2020, so we’ll probably get one anyways.

There are only selfish reasons for the NDP to trigger an election this fall

Say ‘Hi’ to the mountains (and rain): The smoke is gone from the Fraser Valley, for now

Saturday’s Fraser Valley air quality forecast at ‘moderate risk,’ but morning showers leave skies clear

Machine pistol among 14 firearms seized from Alaska man at Abbotsford border crossing

Corey Scott Kettering faces charges of smuggling and prohibited firearm possession

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Mission asks public for feedback on proposed Tree Management Bylaw

Currently, tree removal and cutting can take place without a permit

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read