The VIU Mariners will open the 2017 CCAA men’s National basketball championships on Thursday morning at 9:00 o’clock (PST). The tournament is hosted at Holland College in Charlottetown PEI, which has a local time of 1:00pm. WATCH HERE
They will represent the PACWEST and are the third seed, facing the sixth seeded George Brown Huskies, a wildcard team from Ontario (OCAA).
The Mariners won their third straight PACWEST title with a 16-2 record and have won 15 straight games including their two wins during the playoffs. Their offence scored 87.3 points a game and shot 42.8% from the field. Usama Zaid led the PACWEST with over 28 points a game and he was second in CCAA scoring.
Defensively the Mariners held the opposition to a Conference low 72.6 points, created 18.7 turnovers and 12.8 steals a game. They also limited the opposition in their second chance opportunities giving up only nine points each game.
They will face the Huskies who finished 19-1 and on top of the OCAA’s East Division scoring 86.7 points each game shooting 41.2%. They fell in the Conference championship gold medal game by just two points to the undefeated Sheridan Bruins and claim a CCAA wildcard berth. Ajanmo Clarke led his club with 23 points a game and shot an incredible 49% from the field. The Huskies had won 15 straight heading into the OCAA playoffs.
This game will be a very early start for the Mariners who not only battle the time change but a snow storm that is hitting PEI as well. They are looking to improve on their fifth place finish last year and will be looking for their sixth CCAA national medal. Their last medal was a silver in 2015.