River Lions show off across the country
The Niagara River Lions were winners coast to coast Tuesday night.
The River Lions topped the Montreal Alliance 100-93 in St. Catharines in a Canadian Elite Basketball League game broadcast nationally by TSN.
“It means to the world to us Canadians just to see how much this league has grown and given us a platform and opportunity,” Niagara guard and Ottawa native Lloyd Pandi said. “You just saw last night Jamal Murray (Kitchener native of the Denver Nuggets) got a ring.
“Just having this opportunity to be on this national stage means a lot and looking forward to the future and how it’s going to improve.”
River Lions general manager/coach Victor Raso appreciated the opportunity to showcase his club across the nation.
“It’s awesome,” Raso said. “I think this is the first time we had a nationally televised game with all the fans at the Meridian Centre so it was important to us.”
Raso feels the league is getting better with each year.
“It’s amazing,” he said. “We had an incredible crowd (3,647) on national TV and there are sellouts across our league and attendance is way up.
“This is awesome. You look around and it seems we’re becoming the CFL of basketball.”
The win improved Niagara’s record to 3-4.
“We collectively know how good we are when we lock in when we do what we’re supposed to do,” Pandi said. “We know we’re a better team than our record. We try and go out there and not worry about our record and not worry about who’s on the other side and we showed that tonight.”
Pandi is averaging 10.4 points, 5.3 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 25 minutes per game this season, but isn’t concerned with his numbers.
“Just bringing energy and being a hard worker. I just want to win and anything I can do to help the team win, honestly that’s my role,” he said.
Raso is a big fan of Pandi.
“Lloyd is an American in terms of what you would want out of an import,” Raso said. “He’s a great kid, he’s strong as an ox, he can attack and plays the entire game. He impacts the game in many different ways.
“Sometimes it’s not flashy, but if you know the game, you know that kid is good.”
River Lions 100 Alliance 93
BPSN Star of the Game: Niagara’s Lloyd Pandi with 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
Niagara River Lions: Pandi 19; Jahvon Blair 26; Edward Ekiyor 15; E.J. Onu 11.
Montreal Alliance: Ahmed Hill 26; Nathan Cayo 22; Treveon Graham 14.
Game stats: Field goals: Niagara 35/77, Montreal 32/62; Three-pointers: Niagara 18/41, Montreal 22/38; Rebounds: Niagara 36; Montreal 36; Turnovers: Niagara 13, Montreal 18.
Up next: At Ottawa Saturday. Home to Calgary Friday, June 23 in a special 11 a.m. game.
If you liked this story or one of the 5,100 other stories found on our website, please consider hitting the Support Us button on the right-hand side of our home page and making a PayPal contribution to our website. Your support would be much appreciated. If you are a business owner, please consider advertising on our site. Our rates are reasonable and we provide plenty of exposure for your business. Contact email@example.com for more information.