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BlackJacks fall short in 2022 season home opener

Ottawa's basketball team lost a tight game 90 to 87 against the Fraser Valley Bandits at TD Place.
Screenshot 2022-05-26 114811
Deng Adel finished with a franchise record 37 points during the BlackJacks home opener. (Photo Credit: CEBL)

The Ottawa BlackJacks first game of the 2022 Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) season ended with a "next basket wins" scenario.

The BlackJacks lost 90 to 87 to the Fraser Valley Bandits in their first game of the season on May 25 at TD Place.

Despite the loss, six-foot-seven guard Deng Adel led the BlackJacks with 37 points while shooting 14 of 16 from the floor.

"My shots were falling early," said Adel. "I worked a lot on my game so I just kept my confidence high and took the shots they gave me."

Ottawa's basketball team didn't start their season the way they wanted to, but had a packed crowd to cheer them on during their home opener.

Head coach of the BlackJacks, Charles Dubé-Brais, said he was happy with the way the team played and felt that his squad was in control for most of the game. He had nothing but praise for the team's leading scorer after the loss.

"He was fantastic," said Dubé-Brais. "He's been as good in this game as we've seen a player be in this league."

Adel played just over 28 minutes before he fouled out of the game while also posting nine rebounds and five assists.

"It's tough, as a competitor you want to be on the floor, but it's also about trusting your teammates," said Adel. "You can always be in the game even if you're not on the floor."

The Fraser Valley Bandits head coach Mike Taylor gave a lot of credit to the BlackJacks, and admitted they controlled most of the game. However, he was extremely pleased to see his team come together like this in game number one.

"It was a fantastic way to start the season, your team has a really productive training camp but you still never know what you have until you get out here and play."

Ottawa-native Maxime Boursiquot played his first professional basketball game finishing with five points and five rebounds. The six-foot-five forward joined the BlackJacks after finishing his season with the University of Ottawa GeeGees.

"There's no better feeling than being able to do what i love without having to go too far," said Boursiquot. "Overall I think it was a great experience not just for myself, but for my family and friends to be able to see my growth."

The BlackJacks dominated on the glass out-rebounding the Bandits 43 to 31, and prevailed from behind the arc as well shooting 57 per cent from three-point range compared to Fraser Valley's 40 per cent.

"I'm looking forward to creating many more moments like these moving forward and hopefully we keep building on yesterday and have a fantastic season," said Boursiquot.

The BlackJacks will have nine more chances to win at home this season before the CEBL Championship Weekend set to take place from August 12 to August 14 in the nation's capital. 

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