While Saturday night was the Shane Gibson Show, it was the depth of the Fraser Valley Bandits which carried the team to victory.
Gibson scored 29 points – just missing the franchise mark of 30 – in the first 37 minutes, but while he missed both of his shots in the Elam Ending, the Bandits still came through with a 92-89 win over the visiting Scarborough Shooting Stars before a sellout crowd at Langley Events Centre in Canadian Elite Basketball League action.
Four different Bandits each scored a basket in the Elam Ending and Alex Campbell hit the winning free throw – which came after Fraser Valley came up with back-to-back steals on Scarborough possessions.
“Great win,” said Fraser Valley coach Mike Taylor.
“I loved our team’s competitiveness, the teamwork, the heart they put into it.”
Gibson was more concerned about the team getting the victory than about any individual accolades.
“Our team played hard and showed a lot of character,” Gibson said.
“It was a close game and if you are going to be a good team, you need to win those games,” he said, referencing the fact the team is 4-0 in games decided by three points or less.
While Gibson scored a game-high 29 points, Campbell, Burnatowski and Thomas Kennedy each had 15 points for the Bandits. Campbell also had five steals and Burnatowski now sits tied for third in the CEBL with 25 three-pointers on the season.
The Shooting Stars had five players in double figures, led by Jalen Harris’ 22.
A special pre-game tribute was made prior to tip-off to honour the career of three-time BC provincial champion (Kitsilano Secondary) and Canada Basketball mainstay Levon Kendall, who retired from professional play following the 2021 CEBL season.
Kendall’s No. 14 jersey was retired in celebration of a national team career that began in 2004 and culminated in 2016. A long-time forward for the red and white, Kendall’s 12-year national team tenure saw the former Pittsburgh Panther play more than 120 games across more than 20 countries throughout five different continents as a member of Team Canada.
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Fraser Valley is back in action on June 21 when they visit the Guelph Nighthawks before returning to Langley Events Centre to host the Montreal Alliance on Friday, June 24 at 7 p.m.
Bandits games are available on CEBL+ live internationally.
Partial season ticket packages, as well as group and single game tickets are available for purchase at thebandits.ca/tickets. Fans are asked to call 604-866-0529 or email email@example.com for any questions or ticket related inquiries.
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