The Edmonton Stingers managed to sneak away with a huge 104-95 overtime win over the still win-less Fraser Valley Bandits. This is a huge victory that advances the Stingers to a 5-4 record, maintaining a playoff seed as we approach the half-way point of the inaugural CEBL season. (If you are unfamiliar with the CEBL, it is Canada’s Elite Basketball League).
The Stingers played a shortened roster against the Bandits, missing players such as Xavier Moon, Akeem Ellis, Brody Clarke and Kenny Otieno. This didn’t seem to be a problem for the Stingers, who called upon players like Narcisse Ambanza and Mathieu Kamba to take on heavier roles. Clearly these roles were filled very well. But before we get any further in our recap, let’s introduce the top performers.
3rd star of the night: Mathieu Kamba
Kamba put up a very strong outing against the Bandits. With some guards out for the game, Kamba was called into a starter’s role, where he shot an efficient 4/4 from the field, including 1/1 from 3 point range and 2/2 from the free throw line. Kamba simply couldn’t miss as he racked up a 13 point night, a season high for him. Kamba played a quietly efficient game and knocked down a huge three that helped the Stingers send the game to overtime. Kamba also had the highest plus-minus on the team, contributing a +18 point advantage with his presence on the floor. Kamba simply played the perfect game.
2nd star of the night: Adika Peter-McNeilly
Adika Peter-McNeilly had an impressive outing of 25 points on 9/14 shooting. McNeilly came up big in the overtime period, showing off once again that he is an elite slashing scorer, and helping the Stingers on both ends. McNeilly played an excellent game and received plentiful minutes that helped the Stingers pull through with the victory
1st star of the night: Deondre Parks
Deondre Parks earned the Stingers this win. Notably knocking down all 3 free throws that completed a Stingers comeback to send the game to overtime, Parks seemed to be everywhere on the floor. Parks was especially present when the Stingers needed a player to lead them back into the game. On top of an amazing 30 points, Parks racked up 6 rebounds and 6 assists, as well as a team high 2 steals. Parks was effective on both sides of the floor, and was the main reason the Stingers had the chance to pull away in overtime.
Overall a great game, highlighted by many great performances. The main difference however that allowed the Stingers to bounce back from last weeks home loss to the Honey Badgers was free throw shooting. Following a below 50% FT%, the Stingers bounced back knocking down 25-28 free throws, including many under high pressure situations.
It’s nice to finally see the Stingers come out with a road win, after going 0-4 in their previous road games. This comeback win over the Bandits (who led by up to 11 points in the game), proved that the Stingers have one of the deepest teams in the league, and can find contributions from everyone on the court.
What went right?
The free throws were dropping, Deondre Parks came up clutch, Adika Peter-McNeilly was an incredible slasher, and the Stingers found lots of success on the pick and pop from their big men like Travis Daniels and Grandy Glaze.
What went wrong?
3 Stingers players (Jordan Baker, Travis Daniels, Adika Peter McNeilly) fouled out, and the Stingers suffered many issues in fouling, totalling 26 personal fouls, including 2 technical fouls on the game. This allowed for the Bandits to get to the line often, especially late in the game. The Stingers also struggled to rebound on the defensive end in the 1st half, which led to a huge deficit going into the second half. Luckily these mistakes were inferior, and a nearly flawless overtime allowed them to be irrelevant.
The first half of this game was straight up bad. The second half, however, looked like some of the best basketball this team has played. They seemed confident, productive and much more defensively engaged as the game came down to the wire.
The Stingers face off at home against the Niagara River Lions (8-2) on the 28th of June. This is the top team in the league and the Stingers will need to be on their A game if they want to pull out this win.
Link to box score: https://www.cebl.ca/event2fiba?matchid=1159990