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

Families with dispute-resolution issues to get help in Surrey

Model was first introduced in Victoria in 2019

Construction underway for new Cloverdale elementary school

The $33 million school is to seat 655 students

George Garrett retires from Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society board

Society completes more than 58,000 trips since 2016

B.C. families financially affected by pandemic eligible for grocery gift cards

Program open to struggling families in Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley communities

Quirky Canadian comedy ‘Schitt’s Creek’ takes Emmys by storm with comedy sweep

Toronto-raised Daniel Levy and Ottawa-born Annie Murphy both got supporting actor nods

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

Mission poker player missing in Nevada is found alive and safe

Brad Booth went missing in July 13, found in mid September

B.C. unveils new cannabis sales programs to help small, Indigenous growers

Government did not say how it will define small producers, but says nurseries will be included in the policy

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

VIDEO: Shots fired outside Langley gas station that was scene of 2018 homicide

No reports of injuries in Saturday evening incident

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Most Read