BASKETBALL: Newton’s Dulay shoots for record number of treys among Canadian university ballers (video)

Tamanawis grad is shooting lights-out as his hoops career in Abbotsford winds down

In Canada West university basketball history

In Canada West university basketball history

SURREY — He is, without question, one of the best three-point shooters in Canadian university basketball history, but Manny Dulay can do so much more on the court – especially this season, a great one for the Tamanawis Secondary grad, by any measure.

For his University of Fraser Valley Cascades, the starting guard is leading the nation in three-pointers made this year (55), and is also 12th in the conference in scoring, with an average of 16.9 points per game.

This is the Surrey baller’s fifth season in Abbotsford, meaning just a handful of games remain until his university hoops career is over and done with, and Dulay is making it a memorable run.

Right now, with the Cascades fighting for a playoff spot, he boasts 219 three-point field goals made all-time, good for fifth in Canada West league history.

It’s an impressive stat, but Dulay seemed surprised to hear it when interviewed by the Now last week.

“I didn’t even know that – sixth?” he said on the phone, prior to his leap to fifth all-time during a big weekend in Alberta.

“I knew I put up a lot (of three-pointers) and had some good years with that, so I knew I could be somewhat close to the record, but I didn’t know where I was at. Thanks for telling me that.”

In his senior season, Dulay has become a go-to guy for head coach Adam Friesen, who has bench-bossed the squad for the Surrey product’s entire time in Abbotsford.

“From a basketball perspective, he’s really grown,” Friesen said. “He came in primarily as kind of a three-point specialist, not doing much with playing off the ball, not much dribbling, just kind of catch-and-shoot, and now he’s transitioned himself into our starting point guard the last couple of years. He’s a play-maker for us, a shot-maker, and obviously he can still shoot the outside shot. He’s become a leader, too, and especially here in his senior year.”

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This season, Manny’s younger brother, Sagar Dulay, is “red-shirting” with the team in hopes of landing a roster spot for the 2017-18 campaign.

The two carpool from their Newton home to the UFV campus, a 40-minute drive often done with teammates Sukhman Sandhu and Deltan Navjot Bains, all former Wildcats from Tammy.

“Sagar was on the Tamanawais team that went to the finals last year, and he’s red-shirting this year, isn’t playing, so he’s learning a lot,” the elder Dulay noted. “It’s always tough for a rookie, right, and figuring out all his classes and stuff. It might be more beneficial to have this red-shirt season.”

Since his Grade 8 year at Tamanawis, Manny Dulay and his basketball buddies had always worked to win a provincial championship banner that never materialized, despite some very good teams, circa 2010 to 2012.

“I can’t lie and say I don’t think about that,” Dulay revealed. “It was something we wanted, especially because when we got there in Grade 8, we knew that (the school) never really had good senior teams but some good Grade 8 and junior teams. So going through all that and then in Grade 12 not being able to get that provincial banner, it hurt.

“But looking back on it,” he continued, “I do still appreciate everything we did because after we left, we had a semifinal appearance with the Sukhjot Bains guys and then a finals appearance with my brother and Miguel (Tomley) guys. So we did kind of put that blueprint there. But yeah, it still kind of stings, and me and my buddies still talk about it and wish we got it done. But it’s in the past now and I’m focused on UFV now, and have been for five years.”

At university, Dulay is majoring in kinesiology and minoring in business, and hopes to one day work at a place very familiar to him.

“I will probably look into becoming a high school teacher, and I’ll probably go straight back to Tamanawis and try to coach there,” he said. “I helped out with the junior team this year a little bit, and that thirst for a banner is still there,” he added, laughing.

Entering this season, the six-foot-three Dulay worked hard to be a senior player who could make a difference on the Cascades team. He knew the pressure would be turned up and that more opponents would be tracking his movements on the court.

“Coming in this season, I knew that if I didn’t play well or step my game up, we wouldn’t have that great of a season. That was my mindset going in,” Dulay explained.

Coach Friesen applauds Dulay for stepping up during the current season, which has the Cascades hovering around the .500 mark.

“He’s not the tallest guy and definitely not the fastest kind of guy, so what he’s accomplished says a lot about his dedication, his work ethic and, you know, his basketball skills,” Friesen said.

As for the chasing the league’s all-time three-point record, Dulay is in tough, but he’s giving it a shot. With six games to go and 219 made all-time, and after a huge weekend that saw him hit 13 treys during two games in Alberta, Dulay has a good chance of cracking the top-three by passing Casey Archibald (UBC, 2002-07) and Danny Balderson (Lethbridge, 1993-95, 1997-2000), both tied with 239 treys made. The all-time record is 308, set by Jeff Lukomski (Regina, 2006-2011), followed by UFV alum Sam Freeman (254, 2008-13).

Dan Kinvig, the Cascades’ PR rep, said this: “I looked up his year-by-year scoring averages, and here they are in order beginning with 2012-13: 3.8, 9.6, 11.3, 11.6, 16.9. Pretty awesome growth. He’s a legit Canadian university basketball star.”

This weekend, the Cascades play a pair of home dates in Abbotsford against Thompson Rivers Wolfpack, first on Friday (Jan. 27) at 8 p.m. and then Saturday (Jan. 28) at 7 p.m. Check ufvcascades.ca for more schedule details.

• Earlier this week, Dulay and fellow Surrey athlete Jessica Funk have been honoured by their respective conferences for outstanding performances on the weekend.

Dulay is the Canada West men’s third star of the week across all sports after sparking the Cascades (6-8) to a weekend split on the road versus the Alberta Golden Bears.

Funk, a third-year setter, is the PACWEST women’s volleyball athlete of the week after guiding the Cascades to their first weekend sweep of regular season against the Camosun Chargers on the road.

Funk racked up 55 assists and a team-leading 12 digs as the Cascades defeated the Chargers in a five-set thriller. UFV won Saturday’s rematch in four sets, with Funk registering 37 assists.

tom.zillich@thenownewspaper.com