|01-08-2012, 05:29 AM||#451|
Windsor Express will get formally introduced tomorrow at a press conference at the Spirit of Windsor in Dieppe Park. Check out their website and Facebook pages.
Jusqui'ici tout va bien...
|22-08-2012, 05:40 AM||#452|
So the Windsor Express is finally in as the newest member of the National Basketball League of Canada, making it as the border city to be in it. Details of the Express has been sketchy and mysterious until that press conference a couple weeks ago. Its proximity to Detroit across the Detroit River will help with its tapping of basketball talent. The name itself is partially an inspiration from the Underground Railroad and a nod for the old railroad yards along the banks of the Detroit River on Windsor's side.
The Express vows to be an integral part of the Windsor-Essex community and mandate a "holistic player development" for the franchise like recommending its players to graduate and even earn a second degree. It invited and spoke to 75 local community groups and St. Claire College, which brought in a dance troupe to kick things off and an AD rep. Windsor's CEO is businessman Dartis Williams, who like almost all in the Express ownership group is from Detroit, also announced they're seriously looking at three former Windsor Lancer players for the team (Coach Chris Edwards was in attendance at the press conference as were a few other notable local basketball personalities in Windsor).
Back to that mysterious ownership group. NBL Canada chairman Andre Levingstone told the Windsor Star back in June that the group included two physicians, one from Michigan and another from Windsor. Now it's been revealed that there are now two big physicians in it, both from Michigan helping in the bankrolling this fledging franchise. But the two don't want to be known publicly yet, and Levingstone can't publicly tell why. But he can say that the group is definitely solvent. Tecumseh businessman Mo Regnier was announced as part of it too in the press conference, whom mayor Eddie Francis met just at the press conference. Regnier does have a basketball background before owning several companies as a high school basketball player at Belle River and later as a ref. Regnier will be involved as VP of sales and marketing.
Chris Mendes from Harrow was named as Express GM but no coach at the press conference. That changed just last week when the Express named Bill Jones, a former player for Dr. Tom Davis at Iowa who spent one season in the NBA with the New Jersey Nets in 1989-90 before going to Italy and France before coaching in the ABA and PBL. Willis already interviewed six candidates, including one Canadian, before believing in Jones as the strongest, particularly his job working with local Detroit kids. Jones' big job now is assembling a coaching that will include a Canadian who will help in getting a foothold in the Windsor community, understand Canadian basketball better, and look for players befitting his up-tempo, perimeter philosophies. He's got his eye on those few former Windsor Lancer players. Issac Kuon perhaps?
The latest development for the Windsor Express lies with getting a new basketball court as part of the new tentative agreement with the WCFU Centre, home of the OHL's Windsor Spitfires. One that will set you back C$125,000.
In other NBL Canada news, Saint John Mill Rats coach Jaren Jackson will not return after two years because his wife found a new job in Indianapolis. Consequently, Jackson will help in the move and transition. Popular former Mill Rat David Cooper, the only player whose number was retired in the young franchise, was named head coach.
Moncton Miracles also have a new coach and GM in Ricky Benitez with over 27 years of basketball experience
Jusqui'ici tout va bien...
|31-08-2012, 06:55 AM||#453|
NBL Canada released its 40-game 2012-13 schedule a few weeks ago as this young Canadian pro basketball league continues building on an already successful inaugural season. It all begins on Friday November 2 at the Eastlink Arena at the Credit Union Place in Summerside, Prince Edward Island with the home Summerside Storm taking on the Saint John Mill Rats with its new head coach David Cooper. The Windsor Express, the newest kid on the NBL Canada block, make their official debut later that same night at the WCFU Centre with the NBL Canada vice-champs Halifax Rainmen coming over for a visit. The following day the Oshawa Power comes to Windsor in what will become a three-team Ontario rivalry. London begins their NBL Canada title defense the next day at home as the Lightning in the John Labatt Centre sees the Rainmen in their cross Ontario weekend road trip that will be a rematch of that great first NBL Canada Final last season. The Kebs will make their debut representing Laval facing Saint John in a road game and then head towards Moncton, who hope to have a much better start to this upcoming season than the first, for the Miracles' season opener. Their home debut in their new arena of the Arena de Laval will come the following Thursday with Windsor embarking its road trip. All ending on Saturday, March 16 with Windsor at home tackling Oshawa again.
The league also held its second annual draft and pre-draft combine last weekend in Toronto and Orangeville, respectively, at the ACTS Institute. Out of the 146 participants, only 41 of them got drafted the next day. The 2012 NBL Canada Draft managed a sponsor with Recharge With Milk as "the Official Recovery Product of NBL Canada". This year's draft was still held in the SkyDome but not in a skybox suite/restaurant but in a Renaissance Aurora hotel suite. A new twist was made in this year's draft in that all but the second round are open to free agents and Canadians--second round is open to Canadians only. Furthermore, draft order was determined by order of finish from last season. Windsor, as an expansion team, picked first then (in order) Moncton, Summerside, Oshawa, Saint John, Laval, Halifax, and London. In the first round though, Moncton (from London) and Summerside (from Halifax) got the last picks in that round.
Trades galore. Saint John both sent their #5 pick and the rights to Issac Kuon to Windsor for the Express' first ever pick in 6-10 C Robert Curtis from an NAIA school. I just knew that Kuon was heading back to Windsor after his successful CIS/OUA career as a Lancer and likely build around him; he'll bring local notoriety to help fill the WCFU Centre. Since it didn't have a first round draft pick beginning in the draft due to a trade, Halifax sent Tyrone Levett and Christian "T-Bear" Upshaw to help strengthen Moncton for the #2 pick in Anthony Johnson in the first round. Oshawa sends Chad Gillaspy to Summerside. Swingman Kamar Burke, formerly of the UBC Thunderbirds, was the first Canadian selected by Moncton with its 8th and final first round pick. Halifax gets NBL Canada scoring champ Brandon Robinson from Oshawa for cash considerations and a 2013 first round pick.
NBL Canada Draft results here;
Full video coverage of this year's draft can be seen here:
Cliff Levingston got a couple of rings with Michael Jordan in Chicago. He's later coached in the USBL (Dodge City Legends, Gary Steelheads), ABA (St. Louis Flight), and CBA (Oklahoma Calvary) and did assistant coaching duties with the Ft. Wayne Fury and the Kansas Cagerz. Now Cliff goes to Canada and gets to coach Halifax, a team owned by his NBL Canada bigwig cousin Andre. Obviously, Andre didn't have to look far for Pep Claros' successor.
Oshawa Power's Tut Rauch, formerly of the York Lions, signs with Nassjo Basket, just promoted to Sweden's Basketligan after a 20-2 season in the second division.
Jamaal Miller of the Seattle Mountaineers signs a 10-month contract with former ABA team Beijing Aoshen Olympic
Alan "Duck" Richards is the new GM/Coach for the Atlanta Aliens
Athens Razors are now Athens GoRazors
UBC TV and the ABA strike a TV deal to have ABA games on Urban Broadcasting.
Joe Becerra becomes Salem Sabres' GM
The entire ABA Pacific Northwest Division has its very own website with teams stretching from Alaska to Alberta to Oregon
Paul Collier is the ABA's VP of Business Development
Former Jackson St. assistant Wright Bushling is the Head coach of the Jackson Showboats
Markus Martin is the Greenville Galaxy's new VP of Basketball Operations
We've seen attempts in the ABA with bringing in teams filled with Native Americans 9Spider Ledesma's Team Native America), Mongolians based in Alexandria, Virginia (Alexandria Windjammers), and Arabs (Detroit Zafirs). None of them really materialized. We had a Chinese team in Beijing Aoshen Olympic that was successful. Now there's an opportunity to have a Hispanic team based in Chicago, a city that is a somewhat underrated Hispanic city. Called Estrellas de Chicago.
The 2012 ABA Northeast Showcase for a combine/tryout
Norbert D. Sullivan is your new Head coach/GM of the Georgia Wildcats
British based Akuma Sports becomes the ABA's new official unifrom supplier
Jusqui'ici tout va bien...
|14-09-2012, 06:35 AM||#454|
Things were quiet in the Premier Basketball League since the new Cerntral Illinois Thunder upset the Rochester RazorSharks in the 2012 PBL Finals until now. When you think about all the turmoil and inconsistentcy plaguing this young league since its inception, starting with the first and second seasons with expansion into cities where it shouldn't have and teams folding during the course of the season and then later with the Canadian teams jumping ship to help form the NBL Canada. Looking at this completed season, it was quite stable while there still problems in comparision though the Charleston Gunners and the NW Indiana Stars were kicked out of the PBL. After that, all of the remaining teams played a full 20-game schedule.
Central Illinois and Sauk Valley drew very well with good community support as expansion teams and bright spots. The Chicago Muscle not so much. But the Muscle plans to return. Most home games were played though a few were cancelled, including their last home game for unknown reasons. There's some potential in them as a cheaper minor pro basketball alternative for the Bulls (like the AHL minor pro hockey team the Wolves are to the NHL's Blackhawks). I'm sure those who've witnessed them play, like over at OurSportsCentral.com's boards will tell you, the Muscle are fun to watch. Like with those recent past Chicagoland minor pro basketball franchises (Chicago Rockstars, Illinois Express, Chicago Aztecs, Chicago Throwbacks). it's an issue of getting the word out on them for many Chicago residents since many don't know they exist. With Jerome Richardson, Mr. Illinois Basketball 2010, playing in the Sauk Valley game against the Muscle, that promotion would provide a boost of publicity for the Muscle. Chicago is an important market for the PBL, and the league is keen to see it succeed. Tom McGinn and Carrie are doiung a good job with the league so far.
Then the PBL Board of Directors decided to cancel the rest of the regular season and instead usher in the playoffs. I can imagine Rochester, Chicago, and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre ownerships were in agreement. Better to announce that there will be canceled games before they start to be played. Seems like to me the RazorSharks needs to teams to play against to build a league with and have some type of control over. And give Joe Newman the finger to constantly annoy with. I felt the PBL had the potential to be a very good AA pro basketball league below the NBDL and maybe even NBL Canada. It still can. But with its track record so far, it constanly shoots itself in the foot.
Continuing on the Chicago PBL theme, the PBL owners had its annual meeting at the Gibsons' Bar and Steakhouse, and a couple of the things was mandating owners to step up more financially in the form of a $20,000 performance guarantee deposit that is 100% refundable after the end of the season with Rochester's owner Dr. Sev Hrywnak no longer willing to foot the entire league's operational costs. Glad he's no longer doing it. But is he having money woes? Maybe he's realizing the talent level of the teams coming and going into the PBL nowdays are not of the caliber of those that left in earlier seasons like Halifax, Manchester/Saint John, Lawton-Ft. Sill, Detroit, and Quebec City. I can sense the beginning of the PBL's end and maybe that of Rochester's too with Hrynak stop paying the full bills. Once the league brass know who and how many the RazorSharks have as opponents in evaluating them, the PBL will ponder for a season.
Looks as though we will have a PBL season. Instead of starting as we get into the new year like it always did, the PBL will start play on March 1 for the 2013 season. I just don't think between March and May will have enough time for 20 games. The PBL needs to play 2-3 games weekly for it to work. Pondering will it entertain the idea of weekend series games like have Rochester play at home with Central Illinois. The move to March seems good to give more time to play.
Jim Morris plans to sell both his PBL champs Central Illinois Drive and his Bloomington Edge
Morris must have some deep pockets to accomplish what he's doing. It's an interesting development. As an unfamiliar entity, the Drive started slow attendance-wise but got more people to come with game stories working in their favor. They did well with only 3 months to prepare for the season instead of having 7-8 to a year beforehand.
Chicago Throwbacks' old venue up for foreclosure in its high rent area where there's zero market for it
Back north of the border with the NBL Canada, which has proved itself to be very top-notch, organized, and professional in comparison, the new Windsor Express finally gets their brand new basketball court and the areana lease to play at the WCFU Centre at a Windsor City Council member:
Issac Kuon is excited to return to Windsor to play for his second hometown Express and excite the fans there like he did as a second team All-Canadian for the Windsor Lancers with more playing time. Definitely look for him to be the public face of the Express.
Windsor's dance team is coming with tryouts coming next week:
Summerside Storm started their season ticket campaign Wednesday
As far as the personnel matters during this time goes, the big ones lied in Halifax. During the second NBL Canada Draft, former St. Francis Xavier star Christian "T-Bear" Upshaw was sent to Moncton. Despite being a hometown fave for the Rainmen and their fans, he didn't get much of playing time to showcase his skills for the already talent-laden NBL Canada runnersup (and Tyrone Levett) for Anthony Johnson. Moncton could provide that opportunity for him in that significant playing time. Also they got Larry Robinson. Then, the Rainmen parted ways with the longtime popular 33-year old Eric Crookshank (with them since its 2007 inception) with his reduced playing time in an attempt to be more primetime ready and younger.
Modibo Diarra's family is now safe in Saint John from the violent unrest going on in Mali
Jusqui'ici tout va bien...
Last edited by Durbansandshark; 14-09-2012 at 08:14 AM.
|05-10-2012, 08:17 AM||#455|
Halifax's rights to UCONN 2004 NCAA champion guard Taliek Brown were traded to the Laval Kebs in exchange for the Kebs' 2013 NBL Canada first round draft pick.
London Lightning's NBL Canada MVP Gabe Freeman returns his helping services after signing a new contract. Tim Ellis and DeAnthony Bowden are also returning from the championship team. But they may not be with forward Eddie Smith and his ball handling, scoring, and drawing fouls that the Lightning had all championship season long with a possible signing offer from Laval.
London matches offer in a bid to keep Smith...
...but Eddie decides to head to Laval instead, and London brings aboard former Oshawa Power F Morgan Lewis, the NBL Canada's first ever draft pick, in a trade for London's third round draft pick and cash.
Halifax Rainmen sign NBL Canada leading scorer Brandon Robinson from a trade it made with the Oshawa Power for offensive punch
In continuing the seemingly radical changes going on in Halifax after last season to become again a NBL Canada championship contender, the Rainmen and its big boss Andre Levingston extended a hand to another former St. Francis Xavier X-Men star in Tyler Richards to a training camp invite after a troubled time for him after his AUS playing days with numerous discussions and possibly be with his ex-rival from St. Mary's Joey Haywood. He does face a stiff test to break through as Richards knows. Furthermore on that personnel changes, it's actually going to be very different with a few other Rainmen (Chris Hagan, Darnell Hugee) not coming to terms of new contract agreements and letting Crookshank go will make for a risky chance in their championship aspirations. Halifax had a very nice core of players to build around in after the first season with these fan faves. A championship season is needed to jusitify all this.
Saint John Mill Rats bring back a local fave in former UNB Varsity Reds guard Mike Anderson, a Grand Bay resident who previously played for the Mill Rats.
Mill Rats also sign Micah Brand from Middletown, New York, who actually holds dual US-Canadian citizenship
In a kind of "Take that, PBL!", Saint John also announce the signing of three former Rochester RazorSharks signing of 6'8 power forward James Reaves, 6'0 point guard Jerice Crouch, and 6'4 guard Melvin Council.
New Halifax Rainmen head coach Cliff Levingston makes his blunt presence known to the much younger squad after replacing the popular Spaniard Pop Claros at the Rainmen training camp that is now being bumped from the Canada Games Centre with the Toronto Raptors coming in for theirs.
Levingston confirms his old school, hard work ethic and "earning your keep" through practices for quality playing time as a Rainman. Prima donnas need not apply in Halifax. Plus, he and his cousin Andre are also about chemistry and are not panicking over the significant player personnel changes as attempt to chase and seriously challenge London. Still I worry for this season.
Yet Levingston is still hounded by back child support money non-payment claims from his high school sweetheart for their now-26 year old daughter.
Three players--center Monquel Pegues, forward/center C.J. Webster and forward Charles Little--were cut loose by Halifax yesterday with more expected today.
Meanwhile with new franchise Windsor Express getting off the ground, Issac Kuon happily accepts being the Express' public face in a blue-collar city where he made his name as a Windsor Lancer. There's a good possibilty his former Lancers teammate Greg Surmacz could join the team as another notable Canadian following his professional time in Poland.
As the Oshawa Power prepares for their second season in NBL Canada, this will no doubt act as a make-or-break season there in terms of its long-term prospects. After a disjointed first half of the season that witnessed a coaching change, the Power struggled at the GM Centre's gate and played mediocre despite having their one of best players in Morgan Lewis producing. In the second half though, the Power played much better but not enough to warrant a playoff berth. What's troublesome is the fact that the basketball culture in Oshawa is definitely strong and thriving through high school and club scenes, and the Power got a deal with Rogers. The Power management really need to communicate and connect better with the local basketball community--both their fans and potential fans--especially now with Garry Durrant no longer the Power's VP of basketball operations. Like with Halifax, it will be a different team with Lewis, Tut Ruach, Brandon Robinson, and Omari Robinson all gone. But there will be talent found there on the team this upcoming season under new coach Richard Dickey, but the lack of star power will hurt. Strong ownership, local sponsorship, and community support not just from Oshawa but the entire Durham Region are needed to boost the solid and entertainment product on-court and let it thrive for years to come.
Oshawa signs Peterborough's Jesse Young (a former Canadian national team member), Jushay Rockett, and Jermaine Love for the upcoming season.
Some very interesting developments. The city or suburb of Markham, actually closer to Toronto than Oshawa is, has some potential owners very much interested in an NBL Canada franchise as a tenant. Proposed plans are underway for a new 20,000-seat arena there slated to open its door in 2014 and rival the downtown Toronto Air Canada Centre. Its arena ownership group wants a franchise in time for that with the 10,000-seat lower bowl open and the upper level curtained off for home games. For NBL Canada has not grown and sustained yet enough to warrant 20,000-seat attendance--it's still a baby! Lots of people following this arena development, including yours truly, readily assume the GTA Centre (preliminary name for the planned multipurpose venue until a corporate sponsor is named) will predictably and eventually have the NHL in there in the form of a second Toronto NHL team after the Maple Leafs, something that Toronto can easily support. Moreover, with this arena, I can see a future CIS Final 8 being played there eventually. Watch this space!
Jusqui'ici tout va bien...
|12-10-2012, 08:18 AM||#456|
ABA time again
Dane Rawlins joins the new Tampa Bay Rain, coached by former Atlanta Hawks and Orlando Magic center Tree Rollins. Let's hope they last than the other past Tampa Bay ABA incarnations.
San Diego Surf surprises the Soles de Mexicali 63-59 in a preseason game in Mexico
...continue to strengthen their ties in Chinese basketball
So the ABA will get themselves a travel tema like what we've seen in the IBL. It will be the Electric City Lions. Never ever heard of Electric City. Does it actually exist in name? Oh, it's based in Anderson, South Carolina which is called such.
Atlanta Wildcats hire as head coach/GM Alvin Garrett
Delvin Matson is the new Texas Fuel's Head Coach/GM
One of the more surprisingly long-lasting minor league basketball franchises, the Georgia Gwizzlies, signed their first several players for the upcoming 2012-13 ABA season.
Here is the ABA's first significant national TV schedule in recent memory, if there ever was one, from the UBC-TV Network. UBC doesn't even have its own Wikipedia entry. And I doubt I will get it in my neck of the woods even with digital satelitte. Most of the games shown are going based in the southeast and west, where the arenas have built-in TV studios to use. Most of the home courts across the ABA often lack that amentity.
Michiana Monarchs 2012-13 roster
The Bahama All-Pro Show returns to the ABA for this upcoming season
Aubrey Volious is the head coach of the Windy City Monsters
Are you ready for such an ambitious expansion project of ABA teams this season, all 19 of them come from the state of Pennsylvannia alone? Several of thses places have previous experience in fielding minor league basketball teams like Harrisburg, Erie, Lancaster, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Allentown, and even Philadelphia.
How the new Tampa Bay Rain preseason shapes up with its new roster
Hampton Roads Stallions will play this season
Jusqui'ici tout va bien...
|02-11-2012, 05:09 AM||#457|
Over a week after the NBA made its way again to Montreal for the second time in three years with another preseason game between the Toronto Raptors, Canada's NBA team, and the New York Knicks at the Bell Centre, things get more interesting for Montreal pro basketball with a brand new team coming that's supposed to replace one slated for nearby just after it moved down the St. Lawrence River.
As I write this post, the NBL Canada just officially announced the introduction of the newest Montreal franchise in the two-year old league that rose out of the ashes of the Laval (formerly Quebec City) Kebs at the Pierre Charbonneau Centre. NBL Canada's new Montreal franchise will be known as the Montreal Jazz (or Le Jazz De Montreal in French). It will take up the schedule that was originally planned for Laval. Montreal's home games will be played at the Pierre Charbonneau Centre, which was previously the home to the ABA's Montreal Matrix/Royal and the PBL's Sasquatch (more on those later). The Jazz name is apt due to Montreal's deep appreciation towards jazz and for its excellent and popular annual jazz festival. The name and coach were already known before today's announcement through the likes of Frank Mart's NBL blog (does an excellent job in his anatomy of Laval's demise) and Basketballbuzz.ca and Quebecois sports websites like Jet7basket and TVA Sport. Argentinian-born, Montreal-based Alejandro Hasbani, former head coach of the Sasquatch and Matrix assistant, will be the Jazz head coach. Another person with strong Quebec Basketball like Hasbani is Pascal Jobin, a bigger mover and shaker in basketball in the province there who will take the GM position. Colo(u)rs are green and white.
Being a franchise that survived and modestly thrived for six seasons in the ABA, PBL, and NBL Canada, Quebec City's problems started with the attendance issues having bounced around in venues playing (mostly) at Laval University's PEPS, the Pavillion De La Jeunesse, and the Quebec Coliseum (Le Colisee Du Quebec). Attendance was mostly disappointing hovering close to 2000 per game in the full schedule despite a strong on-court product led by coach Rob Spon that was a championship contender. In May, Kebs exec VP Vincent Bernier announced that he and the Quebec City government failed to come to an agreement for the potential Kebs' use and rent of the Pavillion De La Jeunesse. It was a bit of a shame for that Quebec City provided an important market in the development of not just the new NBL Canada and of its geographic location but also of Quebec's growth and access in basketball. It's quite possible the Kebs got lazy in Quebec City and didn't really work hard in promoting themselves as another sports alternative to largely ice hockey. In fact, its game were only broadcasted in French. QC's local newspapers have a tendency to cover almost anything that goes on in sports around town, regardless of the level. Especially the Journal de Québec. You'll blurbs about Midget AAA hockey, local collegial football, University football (Q League wide), the Capitales and the Can-Am League. The Kebs, while they were in Québec and filling the top-level pro sports void left by the absence of pro ice hockey with the NHL's Nordiques, IHL's Rafales, and the AHL's Citadelles, were included in this sports media coverage. Fans were somewhat open to it and had some access to pro basketball in Quebec, but the Kebs knew it ultimately couldn't compete with hockey. Quebec City's top pro sports priority right now is building the new 18,100-seat Quebecor Arena (named for Quebec's French-Canadian media conglomerate) slated to open in 2014 in a very strong attempt to land the NHL back to the city. Basketball would be an afterthought there, though it would be interesting to see, should Quebec City return to the NBL Canada, would it play there.
So off to Montreal's city-suburb of Laval the Kebs went to keep the franchise in the province of Quebec with a better and league-suitable arena to call home and much more fertile and receptive basketball culture and community to tap into for support. They had a very good basketball coach in Rob Spon with a band of talented championship-caliber players ready to take the second NBL Canada title to Laval. Or so the Kebs all thought. News following the Kebs' arrival in Laval during the offseason was quiet outside of the 2012 NBL Canada Draft. Too quiet, in fact. Much of the developments reported are all in French (more on those later). All that I knew of what happened in Laval was the unvieling of their new Kebs jerseys and of the appointment of Jobin as the GM with him being previously involved back up in QC as an ABA member. Nobody would presume that a founding and existing franchise like Quebec City/Laval would implode in NBL Canada like that after the league's debut season success. Oshawa has had its problematic issues with local support in its first season being in a far more fervent basketball community, yet it managed to survive.
Everything about Kebs during the offseason was very reduced. Spon was a no-show at the 2012 Draft, which was odd, and there were some bizarre trades the Kebs made in exchange for cash like bringing in Taliek Brown from Halifax for cash and the irresistible offer to London's PG Eddie Smith despite the Lightning matching the offer, only for Smith nonsensically later to traded to Halifax. Not certain whether there was any conflict between Spon and Jobin, Spon's no longer the coach. There were claims to signings of Shaquille Johnson and Mike Mercer. Furthermore, it wasn't sure Brown was actually signed. Training camp that was scheduled for September 22-23 was moved to October 14. Then came the announcement on October 16 that Spon was out and there was a plan to build with only local Francophone players on the team (read: no Americans). If you ever looked at the Laval Kebs' site, there's little to see save for only season ticket seating prices at the Laval Coliseum and the ill-fated training camp at Laval Catholic High with Spon along with sponsorships with Quebec chicken restaurant chain St. Hubert's, Groupe Etre, Radio Quebec 800AM, Desjardins credit unions, CHOI Radio X 980 AM, and Boston Pizza.
Off court, Laval endured a less than favo(u)rable reception with the city. Bernier had meetings with city leaders, who told him that while they were proud to have the Kebs they would not offer financial support to it on an unproven and unfamiliar product. Bernier later bitterly complained publicly about the poor financial support from the Laval community. He went to NBL Canada and asked for four months of such, the league would only offer two months. With that, he went on to raise money in the community for the struggling franchise while he let Jobin deal with all the basketball matters. It was then that NBL Canada decided to take over managment of the Laval Kebs and later terminate Laval for the incoming new Montreal Jazz franchise.
Jusqui'ici tout va bien...
Last edited by Durbansandshark; 04-11-2012 at 05:22 AM.
|02-11-2012, 10:04 AM||#458|
Montreal Jazz launched its Facebook page and Twitter account hours ago.
Photos from the Montreal Jazz press conference introduction at the Pierre Charbonneau Centre. One of the photos you'll see contains the design of what the uniforms will be--green and white:
Tomorrow I'll discuss on the start on the new NBL Canada season, among other things, what the brand new Montreal Jazz will mean to Montreal sports, not just basketball, NBL Canada, and Quebec basketball including Quebec City. Never mind the fact there are still eight active NBL Canada franchises with Montreal added and not as the ninth as mentioned in the media. The Jazz play against the Saint John Mill Rats Friday night before making their home debut against the NBL Canada champs London Lightning.
CTV News Windsor's promo on the Windsor Express entry into NBL Canada
CTV News London report on the Windsor Express entry into the Rose City
CTV Windsor report from Bob Bellaccio on former Windsor Lancer Greg Surmacz making a name for himself onto the new Windsor Express roster after playing professionally in Poland as the Express prepare for its first NBL Canada season.
CTV Windsor report also from Bellacicco on the Windsor Express' impact on the local basketball revival
CTV London review of the first ever Windsor Express game in the preseason getting hammered on the road at the John Labatt Centre by the Lightning
CTV London report on the champs London Lightning looking forward to successfully defending their title with its roster all lined up. Coach Michael Ray Richardson pulls a Pat Riley here on a repeat.
Jusqui'ici tout va bien...
|03-11-2012, 04:57 AM||#459|
Everything just seems to go by so fast when NBL Canada brought in the Montreal Jazz into the league just days ago after the Quebec City/Laval Kebs' demise. Montreal was thought of to be a contender for some NBL Canada expansion in 2-3 years' time and possibly with some westward expansion along with it. Aside from Pascal Jobin and Alejandro Hasbani, I don't know much anything or IDing about the Jazz management. How is the Jazz going to be different from the previous Montreal pro basketball installments that unfortunately turned the city into a basketball graveyard--the Dragons (the original Canadian NBL in 1993), the Matrix/Royal (ABA), and the Sasquatch (PBL). You'd be reading about this, if you're been paying attention on this thread. None lasted more than two seasons. All had ownership and sponsorship issues. Montreal has never tasted NBA basketball except for preseason games, and that has just restarted a couple of years ago. Not many people in Montreal actually recall these teams, let alone many in the basketball world. Which is just as well since Montreal and all of Quebec is not known as a basketball factory.
The National Basketball League of Canada's strong, proven stability and economic success poses as Montreal's best opportunity yet to have a prosperous and lasting pro basketball franchise to support as a pro sports alternative at this time in the sports calendar with the Canadiens dominating the city's sports scene even during the lockout. Ice hockey will always be king in Montreal, but I do think with Montreal's multicultural population and young audience that is more likely to receptive to basketball. However, I do worry with the timing of its entry so close to the start of the season, the Jazz will be behind on-court with the entire roster, likely to be all Quebecois, and losing against the likes of Moncton and London, that when Montreal gets deep into the season and they're losing, prospective fans will turn apathetic with empty seats at the Pierre Charbonneau Centre. Lots of empty seats. There's a good reason why the top sports leagues have expansion teams come no less than a year (usually 2-3 years) after being granted a franchise: it's an expensive undertaking and allows time for the area to get accustomed with the team as it gets the word out about them when they get ready to play. Under what the Jazz are going, there really isn't much time to bring awareness about them, regardless if it's on the English and French media, unless you follow it online by reading articles and going on Facebook providing quick WOM on its development. Has the Jazz announced its TV and radio contracts yet?. Eventually I can see the Montreal Jazz being on TVA Sports, the French sports TV network and rival to RDS, if NBL Canada can strike a TV deal. Maybe the Jazz management can work all those out in time for next season to be stronger and be out in Montreal's basketball community.
I'm not a fan of the Pierre Charbonneau Centre for pro basketball, by far the lowest-capacity arena in NBL Canada less than Summerside's Consolidated Credit Union Place, a much younger facility. But it is the only facility the new Jazz ownership could get on short notice that has basketball experience and get an agreeable lease. It resembles like a dated small school or a high school gym--maybe even those in the CIS/CCAA. Apparently, the Jazz prefered to stay within Montreal and didn't want to call the far more suitable to NBL Canada's standards Laval Coliseum across the Prairies River home--though they may actually go there next season. Bell Centre is way too massive for regular Montreal pro basketball. Maurice Richard Arena may indeed lack a basketball court. UQAM's gym is not favorable either.
The Jazz's Francophone management are really needed because the likes of Jobin and Hasbani both know the local talent pool in the Quebec province and can certainly take the time to develop relations with Montreal's basketball community, which is at least grassroots, stronger, and more fertile and multicultural than what it is in Quebec City. The Jazz hopefully have the right people running and owning it who seriously know Quebec and its basketball scene and market it properly and tap that said Quebec market. The Montreal RSEQ basketball schools like Concordia, McGill, and UQAM can offer support, and the Jazz can reach out to local basketball and youth basketball to invite them for Jazz home games. At least the Jazz helps maintain a strong Quebec outpost for NBL Canada; Quebec serves as a mega market an important area in the development of Canadian pro basketball that is on the rise, not to mention keeping travel costs low. If NBL Canada loses Quebec, it would lose cred and stability.
To be continued...
When the London Lightning start its defending NBL Canada championship campaign, it will have to do it without Gabe Freeman, now off playing in The Philippines where he'll make $20,000 a month.
Gabe Freeman makes a radio appearance on London's Free 98.1 FM Pasqualina's and Derek Rock Botten's morning radio show. Lots of fun to be had on air.
Jusqui'ici tout va bien...
|07-11-2012, 09:49 AM||#460|
Nearly 90 ABA franchises this season to start off with?! Don't look for many of them to survive as you would expect with this league. Many will be fly-by-night operations. Anyway, 24 teams made the 2012-13 ABA Preseason Power Rankings. Defending champs Jacksonville Giants tops this list.
...again to start the regular season
...and even after the season started even though Jacksonville, the Arizona Scorpions, and the South Carolina Warriors as the top three teams have yet to play this season. Atlanta Wildcats, San Diego Surf, and the Fresno Flight are the biggest ABA movers.
ABA forms a relationship with Sports Management Worldwide
Jersey Express and the Connecticut TopBallerz start UBC-TV's national ABA basketball coverage.
Tree Rollins' Tampa Bay Rain won their first three games.
Bahama All-Pro Show had their press conference
Get ready to see the West Texas Whirlwinds start their season this Saturday at the University Texas Permian Basin Gym.
Cleveland Am Proers played during the weekend against the Lima Explosion. It was a weekend split.
Chicago Fury's roster. It includes a very interesting person on it: Leon Smith. I see an ESPN Outside The Lines or a E:60 profile coming.
San Diego Surf started the season at home versus the OrangeCounty Novastars and won in a blowout 140-103.
The Premier Basketball League welcomes back Buffalo into the league but with a new team. The Buffalo Warriors.
The PBL also welcomes another expansion team in the West Virginia Miners that will have the league's first sole female team owner in Stephanie Casey.
Jusqui'ici tout va bien...
|08-11-2012, 09:59 AM||#461|
Because of the timing so deep before the NBL Canada's second season and needed time to develop player chemistry and getting accustomed to coach Hasbani, it's going to be tough for the new Montreal Jazz to make a impact. We saw an inkling of that last season when the Moncton Miracles, the last team in the league, lost their first 12 games of the season and underwent a coaching change. But the fans in Moncton embraced them. As you look at the current Jazz roster, there's only two foriegners, one from Kano, Nigeria in Sani Ibrahim, and a French player named Xavier Delarue. No Americans. Had the franchise came in much earlier, Montreal would have time to develop and get the word out as the pro sports team to watch with the Habs under a NHL lockout--it may could have taken advantage of that in its TV, online, and print ads. In their first games during their New Brunswick road trip to Saint John and Moncton, they were decent and competitive.
NBL Canada is currently owning the Jazz, but it hopes for local ownership soon. As I said before here, Montreal is a funny sports town. Basketball is indeed growing not just in Montreal, where it's bigger, but in the entire province of Quebec, albeit slowly. Under the right circumstances, Montreal pro basketball can serve as an pro alternative to ice hockey during the fall/winter there. Montreal is a far different market than Quebec City; you're more of a guppy nonetheless in a bigger lake with bigger and more vicious sharks and barracudas. It's mostly the Canadiens, Alouettes, and the Impact in this ESPN-like sports landscape (had the Expos stayed and hopefully return, they'd be second in the pecking order). Hell, in the case of the Habs' massive media coverage just about everyday, all you have to do there is start a trade rumour involving a player and an ice hockey glove.
NBL Canada had to do what's necessary with the Kebs and not have it linger all season long. It would've been better if this was tackled much earlier. This was the league's first big challenge and mistake (in terms of timing) before this Laval Kebs saga all came to light. With the Jazz in, we can now forget about Laval unless it decides to eventually move into the Laval Arena with new ownership. History is not optimistic about Montreal and basketball. Remember, NBL Canada actually rejected Montreal even when it emerged as an offseason move because of its poor basketball support in previous attempts with the Dragons, Matrix/Royal, and Sasquatch and lack of an adequate venue. But the leagues were poorly operated too. Sasquatch's ownership group led by Rèal Bourassa informed the PBL that the franchise was not financially viable to tackle the full season and will cease operations with a lack of sponsorship. The PBL made an effort to rescue that franchise that started the competition, but just over a month after the Sasquatch were removed from the league when it realized it was allegedly not paying the players. New ownership group took over the franchise and renamed it Team Montreal for the remainder of the season. Sound familiar? The result was disastrous, 0-8. Tristan Martin, from the Storm training camp roster, lived this situation.
As for Quebec City, I think it will return to NBL Canada in a few years assuming that the Montreal Jazz lasts and prospers more than any other attempt in Montreal pro basketball. It was the Kebs' arena and subsequent attendance issues that prompted this move and later dissolution before the granting of a Montreal franchise in this very young league. Surely it would please Andre Levingston and Ian McCarthy to see more of a Quebec presence than now and a La Belle Province rivalry between Montreal and Quebec City--"Come see the Montreal Jazz visit Quebec City as they take on our Kebs!" hear that promoted in French. Being there for six years in an area where there wasn't much of a basketball history previously can possibly proclaim some success. What needs to be done for a pro basketball return is the opening of the new Quebecor Arena, which is possible for the upper bowl to be curtained off for Kebs home games when the Nordiques are off or on the road (if there's no ice hockey tournament). If not that, the best alternative would be the Pavillion De La Jeunesse. Like to see Vincent Bernier back running the show and offering his experience. His issue was not with NBL Canada. Basketball in Quebec City, while a hit was taken, will continue to grow there. It would help more if Laval Rouge et D'Or becomes more of a CIS power in the meantime.
Thanks to some reasonable success from last season, the Summerside Storm, Prince Edward Island's first pro basketball, is the talk of the Island's sports scene becoming an unlikely hotbed for basketball. There's a good thing going there.
Summerside can't wait for Year 2 to start with not just scoring but more defense and physicality in their new look
The Oshawa Power have a completely different lineup this season after a mass exodus with only two players remaining. Being a minor pro basketball league that won't affect both on and off court as the franchise attempts to smooth things this season in the Durham area that adores basketball. Let's hope for some Oshawa success.
Another coaching change for the beleaguered Oshawa Power. Robert Brickey left the team to be with his ailing mother. Larruy Blunt takes over. Hope it won't impact the on-court performance.
London Free Press' Morris Della Costa examines all 8 NBL Canada teams in his 2012-23 preview.
Oshawa wins its first game of the season on the road in Windsor holding on by one point with the Power's Nick Okorie scoring 19.
London Lightning, NBL Canada's model franchise, were sick and tired of playing against each other with their new players. Even with MVP Gabe Freeman gone, they want another NBL Canada and crack skulls along the way. Also includes former Townsville Crocodile Elvis Mims.
Lightning extends coach Michael Ray Richardson's contract to 2014, a mark of his coaching success in minor league pro basketball.
London picks up where they left off with Halifax from the first NBL Canada Finals and beat the younger Rainmen again to start the season in starting their title defense.
Summerside Storm get off to great start to their season at home with a win over Saint John
Jusqui'ici tout va bien...
|14-11-2012, 06:35 AM||#462|
Ottawa, Canada's capital city and one of the stronger local basketball communities in Canada (just ask the 8x CIS champs Carleton Ravens!), is coming as an expansion team in 2013. Team will play at the ScotiaBank Place in its first season until renovations at the Ottawa Civic Centre, situated right at Landsdowne Park, are complete. Needs another Canadian city to even out the field. Could Quebec City come back after straightening its venue issues? It's getting to be a crowded sports landscape in Ottawa with more sports teams coming in 2014. Nonethless, I think NBL Canada is smart on expansion.
CTV Montreal's Andre Corbeil reports on the new Montreal Jazz team at their Pierre Charbonneau Centre practice. The players and the staff are convinced NBL Canada is "legit" and "serious" by minor league basketball standards and will do everything in its power to make pro basketball in Quebec work with mostly Quebec-based player, a nice angle to hook Montreal sports fans with. Look for former Concordia Stingers star Damian Buckley in this.
After Molten last season, Spalding is the official basketball of NBL Canada.
Seattle Mountaineers' president and GM Don Sims present the Mountaineers roster for 2012-13 season.
19-year old Derrick Randolph has been through a lot of adversity growing up in Chicago's tough streets. Now he gets to pursue his hoop dreams and his education while playing for the Fresno Flight. He scored a combined 69 points this past weekend over the Sacramento Heatwave, that had Fresno as its original home.
Jacksonville Giants begin their ABA title defense with these players
Kam Shepard is Georgia Gwizzlies top defensive player
We had the Hollywood Fame that was owned by several celebs and athletes and coached by former LA Clippers and NJ Nets coach Don Casey in the ABA. Now here comes come the Hollywood Magic. In this one, we will see actors, singers, rappers, agents, and ex-athletes on the team. We might see rapper The Game in this with the LA Slam are both owned by the same guy.
Salem Sabres start season against Seattle Mountaineers
Pontiac Firebirds (think the old car) beat the Chicago Fury 141-137
Calgary Crush win their weekend series at home against the Washington Rampage. A future NBL Canada team? We'll see.
Congolese Josue Malumba makes a good impression for Jacksonville
Because of that, Jacksonville stays #1 in the ABA Power Rankings
Press release for the Salem Sabres' game loss to Seattle
Jusqui'ici tout va bien...
Last edited by Durbansandshark; 14-11-2012 at 12:19 PM.
|15-11-2012, 12:38 PM||#463|
Well, Andre Levingston having his cousin Cliff for the Halifax Rainmen's head coach sure didn't last long, now didn't it? Just like the NDCELE did to Mike Brown almost a week ago.
London Lightning bring back to Canada Carleton Ravens legend Osvaldo Jeanty who was successful in the German Basketball Bundesliga and 2nd Basketball Bundesliga.
Jusqui'ici tout va bien...
|21-11-2012, 04:54 AM||#464|
NBL Canada's Recharge With Milk Player of the Week Awards went to...
Moncton's Tyrone Levett (November 4)
Summerside's Greg Plummer (November 11)
London's Morgan Lewis (November 1
Halifax Rainmen turn to former Kebs coach Rob Spon to be their new head coach following the firing of Cliff Levingston in the hopes of turning things around after the big (and risky) roster turnover resulting in only two wins so far this season.
Douglas Gelevan's CBC Montreal radio report on the introduction of the Montreal Jazz:
CBC Montreal's Douglas Gelevan visits the Montreal Jazz at their Pierre Charbonneau Centre with a focus on Jazz starting PG David-Yul Michel who because of the low salary cap also holds down a 9-5 job. Also features Montreal native and Jazz player Juan Mendez (former Niagara Purple Eagle).
A French story by Corrine Jean on the "LNBC's" Montreal Jazz utilizing local French-Canadian talent before their home opener from Quebec sports TV network TVA Sport. The only English you'll here is at the beginning and from Saint John's Ian McCarthy--remember, this is Montreal we're dealing with after all:
The Calgary Crush in the ABA make themselves known in the ABA Pacific Northwest Division. This is their blog and they start their season winning the weekend at their Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) Trojans home court. The Crush even have a YouTube channel for us to look at. Let's hope they last a lot longer than the previous Calgary ABA franchise, the Drillers.
Admittedly, Calgary pro basketball has been a tough sell there where in the Prairie province of Alberta (as it has been up in Edmonton), where ice hockey fever reigns supreme (even curling and Canadian football does that too). This CBC Calgary report from Susan Konsmo details the challenges that lie ahead in the city's fourth foray into pro basketball, but if it can take advantage of the NHL lockout with local support and have its locally-known players on the roster winning games while basketball's popularity and accessability in Canada is booming, Calgary pro basketball can finally carve a sports niche. You do get to see some rare and brief footage of the Calgary 88's (WBL), Calgary Outlaws (Canada NBL 1993-94), and Calgary Outlaws (ABA).
Jusqui'ici tout va bien...
|28-11-2012, 08:50 AM||#465|
Detroit Hoops beat their nearby state rivals the Oakland County Cowboys in a weekend series. Includes Hoops roster:
Atlanta Aliens destroys the expansion team Electric City Lions 154-91 in the Aliens' season opener:
Pontiac Firebirds facing again the Cleveland Am Proers at Pontiac High almost two Saturdays ago:
With Cleveland beating the Firebirds that Saturday 125-121:
In what seems like echoing the original ABA's All-Star Game back in 1976 in Denver's McNichols Arena with that and the slam dunk contest followed by a Glen Campbell concert, the current ABA announced this year's All Star Weekend will be return to Jacksonville's University of North Florida Arena with the game itself followed by a concert.
Chicago will get another ABA team when the Ill City Beast coming this season as a late addition:
Chicago Fury beat the Peoria Pride 121-99 at home:
Lynchburg Legends are 3-0 with wins against Hampton Roads Stallions, Electric City Lions, and the Seven Cities Knights:
No change at the top of the ABA Power Rankings with Jacksonville, Arizona, South Carolina, Seattle, Colorado, Fresno, and Jackson:
Rashad Faust scored 51 points for the Georgia Gwizzlies but the Gwizzlies lose on the road to the Phenix City Bombers:
The Jersey Express, one of the more successful ABA franchises right now, unvieled its roster with only two players remaining:
Georgia Bearcats (formerly the Wildcats) unvieled its 2012-13 roster:
Jacksonville Giants still on top:
Tyc Snow, who would likely be in the NBDL right now, decides to stay on to play for the PBL's Lake Michigan Admirals next year when the new 2013 season starts in March:
Lake Michigan also acquires Kelvin Grady, former University of Michigan basketball and football player:
Back north of the border to NBL Canada, it seems as though the city of Windsor is starting to embrace the new Windsor Express. Just before the season started, the Express was making itself known into the community with appearances at Windsor's local malls and a pasta dinner fundraiser with several Express players, its dance team, mascot Conductor Coal Train (a play of the name Coltrane), and its owner Dartis Williams. Fans were lining up to get free tickets. After its exciting first game at the WFCU Centre with decent attendance with a home win against the Halifax Rainmen in front of 3000, attendance seemed to drop significantly in subsequent Express home games, based on photos I've seen on its Facebook page.
But Windsor's winning some games though and playing some exciting basketball with wins over Halifax and Summerside. Greg Surmacz, former Windsor Lancers star, is leading the charge. Right now, the Express is middling with loses to Saint John, Oshawa, and Halifax. If it weren't for the passport issues crossing the border to Windsor, Ontario, the Express would develop a greater fanbase in Detroit. But hopefully, that will take time and maybe focus on that more next season, especially with the Detroit Pistons currently losing a lot. The next two weekends, the Express will make road trips to both Moncton and Summerside.
Ljubisa Vrcelj since got dropped by his hometown pro team a week ago. But he did sign with them at the start of the season. Probrably because he wasn't quite as polished as was needed.
How are the new Montreal Jazz doing? They lost all of their six games they played so far. But this is to be expected though as Montreal was urgently developed at the last minute and added to fill in the void of Quebec City/Laval and ensure Quebec's important presence in NBL Canada. There's some good players and will need time to gel together. When done right and once it gets a strong ownership that will successfully market pro basketball in Montreal. Montreal definitely has the potential to be a great city for professional basketball and expand and grow NBL Canada.
Pascal LeBlanc's basketball blog in La Presse has an entry on the Jazz's debut--they didn't even play a preseason game because of the Kebs issue, remember--against the defending NBL Canada London Lightning champs that they lost to. I translated it for you via Google from French.
Highlights of the Montreal Jazz's first ever game at the Pierre Charbonneau Centre with the London Lightning from Montreal-based French-Canadian sports network RDS INFO's Sports30. London won 79-76 and the crowd there was nicely filled with plenty of seats though. The home court may remind you of the Kingbourough Sport Centre, where the Hobart Devils started playing with all of the cross-stitching. Like Kingborough, PCC is a multipurpose facility open to the public for various sports and other activities. At least with the Kingborough, the essential basketball configurations make it less confusing and ugly; both look like a typical elementary school gym with lots of lines for various sports all over the place.
Also from RDS INFO Sports30, Alexandre Tourigny talks about the Jazz following its NBL Canada debut:
Jusqui'ici tout va bien...
|11-12-2012, 12:26 PM||#466|
Highlights of the Oshawa Power 121-100 December 1st home win at the General Motors Centre over the new Montreal Jazz. Note not just the pitiful attendance of empty seats (like a typical ABA game) at home but also Nick Okerrey. Where's the supposed basketball support from the Durham Region?! You can see why the Power are dead last in attendance in NBL Canada.
Montreal Jazz introductory press conference at the Pierre Charbonneau Centre with Andre Levinstone, Jazz GM Pascal Jobin, Jazz head coach Alejandro Hasbani, and Saint John's Ian McCarthy:
TSN Radio 990 Montreal's Matthew Ross talks to Montreal Jazz GM Pascal Jobin about the team as it starts the season. You'll notice carefully Ross is speaking as if he's an empty and hollow acoustics facility:
Halifax Rainman Quinnel Brown is this week's NBL Canada Player of the Week
Windsor Express' Darren Duncan was last week's NBL Canada Recharge With Milk Player of the Week:
Moncton Miracles' Devin Sweeney was NBL Canada's Player of the Week the week before:
Jusqui'ici tout va bien...
|13-12-2012, 05:17 AM||#467|
Two of the top ABA teams faced off when the South Carolina Warriors take on the ABA champs Jacksonville Giants:
Salem Sabres' Filipino-born Rich Smith sings with the Indonesia Warriors:
South Carolina Warriors roster:
Fayetteville (NC) Flight 2012-13 roster:
Top 8 teams in the ABA Power Rankings are still unbeaten with Jacksonville, Arizona, South Carolina, Colorado, Seattle, Jackson, Conway, and Richmond in those spots:
UBC-TV pulling out the stops for its first televised ABA game between the Jersey Express and the Connecticut Topballerz this past Staruday:
Jackson Showboats roster:
Eric McPherson dropped 40 points for the Cleveland Am-Pro'ers but Cleveland still lost to an attacking Indiana St. Warriors team that were led by Deshaun Wright who totaled 38 pts,. Cordeo Bennett's 26 pts, and Kyle Smith's 15 pts:
Could Marty Blake's top NBA scouting associate group be soon evaluating the Georgia Gwizzlies?
Chicago Steam beats Cleveland Am-Pro'ers 125-93 to go 5-0, with roster:
Fayetteville Flight beats #12 Lynchburg Legends 116-109:
West Texas Whirlwinds prevail over the Texas Fuel 115-103:
Rashaud Faust tied Ramar Smith's ABA record for most points in a game with 61 while on loan with the Georgia Gwizzlies beats the Japanese team Shizuoka Gymrats.
Jacksonville still undefeated and tops in the ABA Power Rankings with Arizona still at #2:
Staten Island Vipers start their 2012-13 ABA season at home this Staurday night taking on the Jersey Express:
Jersey's national UBC-TV debut at Hackettstown's Centenary College was an emphatic win 139-96 over Connecticut:
Joe Wolfinger's low post presence will help the Salem Sabres:
Eric McPherson scores big again for Cleveland Am-Pro'ers, this time for 30 points, but they still lose. To the Chicago Steam:
Jusqui'ici tout va bien...
|18-12-2012, 04:18 AM||#468|
2012-13 NBL Canada Schedule Scores
Friday November 02, 2012
Windsor Express Halifax Rainmen 111-105 *
Summerside Storm Saint John Mill Rats 118-99 *
Saturday November 03, 2012
Saint John Mill Rats Montreal Jazz 100-75 *
Windsor Express Oshawa Power 83-84 *
London Lightning Halifax Rainmen 107-89 *
Sunday November 04, 2012
Moncton Miracles Montreal Jazz 99-83 *
Thursday November 08, 2012
Moncton Miracles Halifax Rainmen 83-87 *
London Lightning Oshawa Power 121-95 *
Friday November 09, 2012
Summerside Storm Saint John Mill Rats 106-96 *
Saturday November 10, 2012
Halifax Rainmen Saint John Mill Rats 105-96 *
Oshawa Power Windsor Express 106-87 *
Moncton Miracles Summerside Storm 94-103 *
Sunday November 11, 2012
Halifax Rainmen Moncton Miracles 86-90 *
Wednesday November 14, 2012
Moncton Miracles Saint John Mill Rats 106-109 *
Thursday November 15, 2012
Oshawa Power London Lightning 115-153 *
Friday November 16, 2012
Windsor Express Summerside Storm 74-86 *
Saturday November 17, 2012
Halifax Rainmen Moncton Miracles 87-109 *
Oshawa Power Summerside Storm 105-97 *
London Lightning Montreal Jazz 134-86 *
Sunday November 18, 2012
Windsor Express Summerside Storm 97-93 *
Moncton Miracles Oshawa Power 114-98 *
Montreal Jazz London Lightning 76-79 *
Thursday November 22, 2012
Moncton Miracles Summerside Storm 97-86 *
Saint John Mill Rats Oshawa Power 100-114 *
London Lightning Montreal Jazz 99-75 *
Friday November 23, 2012
Summerside Storm Moncton Miracles 94-87 *
Saint John Mill Rats Windsor Express 119-88 *
Saturday November 24, 2012
Halifax Rainmen Windsor Express 103-85 *
Sunday November 25, 2012
Halifax Rainmen Summerside Storm 117-110 *
London Lightning Oshawa Power 126-107 *
Montreal Jazz Moncton Miracles 74-89 *
Tuesday November 27, 2012
Moncton Miracles Summerside Storm 102-83 *
Wednesday November 28, 2012
Oshawa Power Saint John Mill Rats 111-103 *
Thursday November 29, 2012
Moncton Miracles Windsor Express 93-88 *
Oshawa Power Montreal Jazz 121-100 *
London Lightning Saint John Mill Rats 113-82 *
Friday November 30, 2012
Summerside Storm Windsor Express 84-96 *
Saturday December 01, 2012
Oshawa Power Halifax Rainmen 104-105 *
Saint John Mill Rats Montreal Jazz 99-79 *
Sunday December 02, 2012
Summerside Storm Moncton Miracles 107-86 *
London Lightning Halifax Rainmen 108-95 *
Friday December 07, 2012
Montreal Jazz London Lightning 97-116 *
Halifax Rainmen Oshawa Power 90-87 *
Summerside Storm Windsor Express 102-92 *
Saturday December 08, 2012
Halifax Rainmen Saint John Mill Rats 103-96 *
Sunday December 09, 2012
Moncton Miracles Windsor Express 96-104 *
Thursday December 13, 2012
Saint John Mill Rats Halifax Rainmen 98-97 *
Oshawa Power Montreal Jazz 127-99 *
London Lightning Moncton Miracles 131-110 *
Friday December 14, 2012
Summerside Storm Saint John Mill Rats 113-119 *
Windsor Express Moncton Miracles 102-98 *
Saturday December 15, 2012
Windsor Express Montreal Jazz 104-95
London Lightning Oshawa Power 101-105
Sunday December 16, 2012
Saint John Mill Rats Moncton Miracles 116-91
Halifax Rainmen Summerside Storm 90-113
Nick Okorie, from Durham's Team the Oshawa Power, is NBL Canada's Recharge With Milk Player of the Week:
Jusqui'ici tout va bien...
|03-01-2013, 06:56 AM||#469|
West Texas Whirlwinds go 4-2 winning over the Texas Elite 124-102 (another Texas ABA team named Texas along with the Fuel? What exact region of Texas do they represent?):
Staten Island Vipers started the season right by impressively beating the Jersey Express for their first loss 119-101 at Centenary College in Hackettstown, New Jersey:
The Jacksonville Giants lose their first game to North Dallas Vandals in a multigame road trip. That costed the defending champs the top spot in the ABA Power Rankings. The Arizona Scorpions, with their overtime win against the Fresno Flight, moved into the top spot:
Another slow start for the Calgary Crush didn't serve as a detriment for them as they eventually blasted the Kitsap Admirals 142-68 to remain undefeated at 4-0. That didn't seem fair, did it?:
Cleveland Pro Amers faced a tall and athletic UBA team from Dayton known as the Dayton Knights and won 127-96. Eric McPherson still doing his things scoring-wise:
Malik Allen joins the Georgia Gwizzlies on New Year's Eve Eve:
Arizona, Jacksonville, South Carolina, Chicago, Richmond, Colorado, Gulf Coast, Seattle, Indiana State, and North Dallas all still make up the ABA Power Rankings' top 10. Albany, Calgary, Los Angeles, San Diego, Conroy, Alaska, and the Atlanta teams are not that far behind:
Georgia Gwizzlies beat the East Point Jaguars as the Gwizzlies go .500 with Dunnell Webb scoring 47 points and Rashad Faust contributed 42 points and added 6 blocked shots. They also added Donovan "Bo" Ingraham, formerly from Texas-Arlington and is a cousin of Jerry Stackhouse:
North Dallas Vandals has point guard Justin Leemow, one of the best players in the ABA, leading the way as one of the best squads in the ABA:
San Francisco Rumble, Dallas Impact, and the Jersey Express all sound like indoor (and some outdoor) soccer teams. But they're not. They're actually ABA franchises that just making their debut in the ABA Power Rankings this week. Arizona, Jacksonville, South Carolina, Chicago, and Richmond are all still the top five teams. In fact the top ten haven't changed:
Undefeated #1 Arizona has a major game coming up next weekend that is going to be televised nationally on UBC-TV against the Los Angeles Slam at LA's Southwest College. No word will rapper The Game will be in it, but there are some familiar names from the NBA like Kareem Rush, Jeff Trepangier, and Joe Smith, and Tony Farmer will all be donning for the Slam:
Electric City Lions surpasses the Georgia Gwizzlies 134-117 to conclude the year 2012:
Jusqui'ici tout va bien...
|04-01-2013, 12:15 PM||#470|
As we look in the NBL Canada 2012-13 standings going into the new year, the defending champs London Lightning are still far and away the best team in the two-year league record-wise at 16-2. They seem to be the best playing team too. The Oshawa Power, for all of its attendance struggles at their General Motors Centre home, are gaining right at them at second at 11-7 in the Central Division. Windsor is two wins away from being at .500 at 8-11. The new Montreal Jazz remain winless after 17 games and will not see any postseason.
The Eastern Division the records of all four of the teams are more balanced, so just about any of them can go from being in a playoff position to being out of them. Summerside leads the division followed by the Saint John Mill Rats. Both the Storm and Mill Rats each have 9 losses to their record. Halifax, as they still make serious and constant changes to its personnel attempting the seek the right and proper mix for Andre Levingston's championship aspirations, sits at .500 with a 10-10 record. Much improved Moncton Miracles lies last at 10-11.
Saint John Mill Rats coach David Cooper's turnaround from the start of the season at 3-6 to 10-8 as the hottest teams in the league with London earned him December's NBL Canada's Coach of the Month
A major reason why the London Lightning went on their 11-game winning streak is Elvis Mims and that earned him Recharge With Milk NBL Canada's Player of the Week.
After Mims came Chris Commons, becoming Windsor's second player to have that hono(u)r
More details on the league plus my thoughts on Ottawa's entry into NBL Canada will come next week. Hopefully by then, Montreal would've won its first game.
Jusqui'ici tout va bien...
|11-01-2013, 12:06 PM||#471|
Big news emerged just as we were in the holiday season last night. The alphabet soup of basketball is now one less. The Premier Basketball League and the Independent Basketball Association decided to merge to become the IBA-PBL, ready to play in March 2013. All of the teams from both leagues presently existing, including the new PBL expansion teams in West Virginia and Buffalo, will participate. Right now, 20 franchises are in this with more to be announced soon.
IBA-PBL merger Press release
Montreal's New Year's wish? A first win. Montreal Jazz finally win their first ever NBL Canada game after 17 games on January 3! 104-98 over the Windsor Express at home! Cue the Hallelujah chorus after that.
After coming from that high of their historic Thursday night win to face the Express again at the Pierre Charbonneau Centre for their weekend series, the Jazz crashed back to Earth and lost 122-103 Friday and a closer one 124-121 Saturday night that became the longest game ever in NBL Canada's short history. Triple overtime! A game that witnessed Windsor's Mike Helms score 40 points for the win, that was later broken by Summerside's Brandon Robinson the next day with 42. Montreal nabbed a second win in their next game. Oshawa was its second victim when they arrived to a frigid Montreal Sunday 114-106. Montreal clearly is getting better as they know each other as players.
Saint John Mill Rats' offensive display during their home opener win at the Harbour Station against the Montreal Jazz:
Frank Mart delves into the mixed impact Canadians players in their on-court presence have in NBL Canada in the first two seasons under the 3+ Canadians per team quota for each NBL Canada franchise (Spoiler: not really). Maybe it should be more about the best Canadian talent available making the rosters:
A major difference reveals itself with the first two NBL Canada Drafts: the second draft, even with its great expectations of strong players after a successful debut season, shown itself to be more filled with role players and precious few impact and starters than the first. First draft seemed to be more talented with Oshawa's (now playing for London) Morgan Findlay being the premier impact player. Second draft had more players signed but with less one less Canadian. I agree with Frank that the CIS must have a greater impact and involvement to get exposure and fair opportunities in Canada's domestic pro basketball league. Working the draft in future years to include those young players is a way to do it
Jusqui'ici tout va bien...
|15-01-2013, 10:42 AM||#472|
Arizona, Jacksonville, and South Carolina still where they all are in the ABA Power Rankings to start the new year:
Cleveland Pro'AMERS with its lack of size couldn't stop KG's former Farragualt Academy teammate Ronnie Fields and his Ill City Beasts 127-89:
After 3 years of discussions, the Jersey Express will get together with the EBA's New York Wizards, a powerhouse in its own league like Jersey is in the ABA, on January 26th:
Jersey shows the Staten Island Vipers who's the boss 108-88 in a Northeast Division game, the Vipers' first ABA game:
West Texas Whirlwinds destroy Texas Fuel:
Lima Explosion beats Cleveland Pro'Amers and Salem Sabres knocks off Lakehood Panthers:
Arizona loses to the LA Push in a nationally-televised match on UBC-TV over the weekend. That means Jacksonville re-takes the top position even though the Giants and the South Carolina Warriors are both 16-1. For the entire ABA rankings, only Chicago, Indiana St., Calgary, and San Francisco remain undefeated:
Lima Explosion keeps the Cleveland Pro'Amers on the losing slide even when Nate Barnes drops 47 for Cleveland:
Montreal Jazz release Nigerian Sani Ibrahim 9on injured reserve), David Yul Michel (remember that CBC Montreal profile on him on this thread?), and Dwayne Buckley:
Jusqui'ici tout va bien...
|16-01-2013, 05:27 AM||#473|
Texarkana Bulldogs coming to the ABA next season to the Southwest Division
New York Jamm comes to the Northeast Division next season as an expansion. NYC must have had 10-12 ABA franchises over the years:
Georgia-Linn Hurricanes coming too. Logo not accurate though for hurricanes:
We got Metta World Peace now we got ourselves a franchise called Ball World Peace to play in Folsom, CA:
Tri-City Suns make for an ABA comeback:
Speaking of comebacks, the Women's ABA (WABA) plans to re-launch. I can only hope it won't be as incompetent and haphazard as the ABA has been. And it won't be like the WABA was back in the 1984.
Wsan't lying about the ABA broadcasts on UBC-TV. Footage from the first ABA game televised on UBC-TV with the New Jersey Express taking advantage of the Connecticut Topballerz at the Express' Centenary College home during much of the third quarter. Your sportscasters are Matt Waymart and Kareem Rush.
UBC-TV's ABA basketball promos:
Jusqui'ici tout va bien...
|18-01-2013, 10:23 AM||#474|
Going to be very interesting to see how this new Ottawa NBL Canada expansion franchise will fare next season as it comes in this November. As I mentioned in the Canadian College Hoops thread, Ottawa has a strong grassroots basketball culture that the new team can tap into and to inspire basketball and its local citizens there even further. The Carleton Ravens' and the Ottawa Gee Gees' success over the years (both men's and women's) and the youth level along with the successful CIS Final 8s and Capital Hoops Classic, both held at the ScotiaBank Centre in suburban Kanata, all paved the way for this no doubt. There is some excitement about the clean slate Ottawa has for basketball. Principal owner Gus Takkale, president of Bytown Sports and Entertainment, says he's looking into hopefully nabbing some ex-players from Carleton, Ottawa, and future OUA member Algonquin, which they'll be lucky to have to fill at least the three required Canadian spots. It might turn to be more as we've seen with the Montreal Jazz. This has got to be Ottawa's first foray into pro basketball.
Ottawa's got one advantage coming into the league that all the other NBL franchises, save for Halifax, Saint John (started as Manchester), and Quebec City/Laval, don't: they have many months before its tip-off next season in November 2013 to create a team and name its personnel while building community awareness in the capital city. Windsor only had a few months during the offseason to get ready for this season. Montreal was placed in on VERY short notice to fill the voided 8th place of the troubled Laval Kebs when it moved from Quebec City as the league-owned team. Acts and timing like that doesn't give time for basketball and casual fans to get accustomed to advanced news in preparation for a sport that is still proving itself across Canada, even when its more accessible than ever before and the now just-over NHL lockout leaving a void. So when Ottawa puts out feelers in morsels of its latest news, it can take its time making the franchise known in Ottawa as time goes by. But fans' sports habits are equally important.
We have yet to know who will possibly be the next expansion NBL Canada city after Ottawa if the league wants to do the 2 expansion teams route. But the league must act decisively and soon to build awareness--Quebec City? Kingston? Barrie? Sydney, Nova Scotia? Back to Ottawa, it plans to play home games in its first season at the canverous ScotiaBank Place that seats 22,000, far and away the biggest arena capacity in NBL Canada, and that the NHL's Ottawa Senators have first dibs on in scheduling. Personally that's too big for the growing pro basketball sport in Canada. Ideally, it should be the more intimate Ottawa Civic Centre that is actually built into the Frank Claire Stadium at Landsdowne Park. Problem is, the whole Landsdowne Park is currently undergoing a massive renovation project in time for the CFL's return to Ottawa and for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. Experience hosting basketball events over the years even since the Toronto-Vancouver Naismith Cup game gives the ScotiaBank Place an advantage to start with, nonetheless. It's very possible there will be a black curtain draping the entire upper bowl of the ScotiaBank Place. But the ambitious Gus Takkale, who reminds me of London Lightning owner Vito Frijia in his passion for basketball, says he's open to filling it up. Yet 20 NBL Canada home games are not the same as to what Ottawa citizens previously endured in basketball. However he is willing to view getting 3500-4000 fans on average at each home game as a successful season. Next season it will move to the Ottawa Civic Centre once the renovations are complete.
Bytown Sports and Entertainment must be prepared to lose money in the first few years of existence since pro basketball is unfamiliar in a heavily hockey city and accept the realities of minor league pro basketball when players head to more lucrative leagues in Europe, Latin America, and Asia during the season. Quality players must be kept though to maintain interest. But Ottawa's pro sports roster is soon to get increasingly crowded with the aforementioned CFL's return, NASL soccer, and a possible AA baseball team to go along with the NHL's Senators, NBL Canada, and OHL's 67's. But NBL Canada is not worried with Takkale saying it helps "provide year-round" options for Ottawa.
Ottawa's new NBL Canada franchise does not have a name but it will get culled from the 400 entries it received. Furthermore, it lacks a logo and colo(u)rs though I do expect it will fall in line with many Ottawa teams in having red, black, and white that we see with the Senators, the defunct Ottawa Rebel indoor lacrosse team, Carleton Ravens, and the upcoming Ottawa CFL team that we've seen with the Rough Riders and later the Reengades. Just yesterday, Ottawa's team delayed its official announcement on team name, colo(u)rs, and logo until late February because of impending publicity of the Senators and the CFL team. Tryouts and training camps are to announced soon. A "techincal director" may get announced first with a head coach coming later well before the 2013 NBL Canada Draft and combine.
Highlights from Ottawa's NBL Canada press conference launch in November at the ScotiaBank Place with Senators founder Bruce Firestone, NBL Canada co-founder Ian McCarthy, Takkale, and Ottawa mayor (and Carleton alum) Jim Watson:
Official Ottawa NBL Canada presentation video from Basketball Ottawa with exciting NBL Canada footage:
Moncton Miracles parted ways with Ricky Benitez and hired New Brunswick native Serge Langis as head coach.
December 16, 2012
Summerside Storm 113 at Halifax Rainmen 90
Moncton Miracles 91 at Saint John Mill Rats 116
December 20, 2012
Windsor Express 85 at London Lightning 104
December 21, 2012
Summerside Storm 103 at Halifax Rainmen 92
Montreal Jazz 85 at Oshawa Power 93
London Lightning 100 at Windsor Express 87
December 22, 2012
Montreal Jazz 84 at London Lightning 105
Windsor Express 95 at Oshawa Power 107
Moncton Miracles 101 at Saint John Mill Rats 127
December 23, 2012
Halifax Rainmen 106 at Moncton Miracles 116 (OT)
Summerside Storm 106 at Saint John Mill Rats 108
December 26, 2012
Halifax Rainmen 118 at Summerside Storm 113
December 27, 2012
London Lightning 139 at Montreal Jazz 92
Windsor Express 113 at Oshawa Power 103
December 28, 2012
Oshawa Power 110 at Montreal Jazz 84
Halifax Rainmen 97 at Saint John Mill Rats 119
Moncton Miracles 95 at Summerside Storm 101
December 29, 2012
Saint John Mill Rats 92 at Moncton Miracles 98
London Lightning 86 at Windsor Express 66
December 30, 2012
Montreal Jazz 77 at Halifax Rainmen 122
Windsor Express 108 at London Lightning 102
December 31, 2012
Montreal Jazz 101 at Summerside Storm 114
January 1, 2013
Saint John Mill Rats 70 at Halifax Rainmen 97
January 3, 2013
Windsor Express 98 at Montreal Jazz 104
London Lightning 100 at Oshawa Power 87
Moncton Miracles 93 at Saint John Mill Rats 105
January 4, 2013
Halifax Rainmen 93 at Moncton Miracles 105
Windsor Express 122 at Montreal Jazz 103
Summerside Storm 114 at Saint John Mill Rats 97
January 5, 2013
London Lightning 97 at Halifax Rainmen 85
Windsor Express 124 at Montreal Jazz 121
January 6, 2013
Summerside Storm 93 at Moncton Miracles 88
Oshawa Power 106 at Montreal Jazz 114
London Lightning 109 at Saint John Mill Rats 106 (OT)
January 9, 2013
Moncton Miracles 100 at Oshawa Power 102
January 10, 2013
Moncton Miracles 93 at London Lightning 115
Halifax Rainmen 102 at Saint John Mill Rats 89
January 12, 2013
Oshawa Power 109 at London Lightning 115
January 13, 2013
Windsor Express 96 at London Lightning 101
Saint John Mill Rats 105 at Moncton Miracles 116
January 16, 2013
Halifax Rainmen 124 at Oshawa Power 127
Jusqui'ici tout va bien...
|31-01-2013, 09:01 AM||#475|
Just announced today in NBL Canada: the Saint John Mill Rats will be the hosts of the 2013 NBL Canada All-Star Weekend at the Harbour Station April 13-14:
As a reward for helping Montreal get their first wins ever, Erick Frederick earns NBL Canada Player of the Week
After Frederick came Moncton's Devin Sweeney:
Oshawa's Nick Okorie gets his second NBL Canada Player of the Week hono(u)r:
Saint John's Anthony Anderson wins that hono(u)r for this week:
It seems that the Halifax Rainmen just can't get the right player combination to break out of the mediocrity that they put themselves into since the offseason. I really can't get a good read out them with all of this inconsistency. Presently, they are a game below .500 at 14-15 second behind only Summerside Storm in the Atlantic Division. They're younger and faster following the release of Eric Crookshank and seem like they lost some direction that was built from the highly-acclaimed coach Pep Claros, who left for other coaching opportunities. Andre's cousin Cliff Levingston, with some prior experience as a minor league head coach, didn't stay long enough for even to make some semblance of an impact. Rob Spon, formerly of Quebec City, is trying. They have been competitive, winning close and thrilling games and losing them, even at times with a big lead. Just last week, the Rainmen lost by 45 to Summerside on The Island. Halifax would sign some players like at guard but release some of those players. At the end of this month of January, hopefully Halifax can turn this around and maybe they have after this past weekend.
London Lightning continue to show why they're the best NBL Canada around as the defending champs. Anytime there's a Lightning loss, it comes rarely and becomes news in the local basketball scene. Only 4 L's next to their name! Running away with the Central. I expect them, with the way how things are going for London, to successfully repeat as NBL Canada champs.
Jusqui'ici tout va bien...
Last edited by Durbansandshark; 31-01-2013 at 09:58 AM.
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