Teams meet for second time in two weeks
SUMMERSIDE – The Summerside Storm will be going for a repeat performance while the Saint John Mill Rats are looking for a different outcome when the two teams clash for the second week in a row on Friday.
© Jason Simmonds/Journal Pioneer
Summerside Storm shooting guard Antonio Ballard looks to avoid a collision with the official while chasing a loose ball during last week’s home game against the Saint John Mill Rats. The two teams meet at Eastlink Arena again on Friday.
The opening tip-off at Eastlink Arena is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The two teams opened the National Basketball League of Canada regular season against each other in Summerside last Friday, and the Storm posted a 118-99 victory before just over 2,100 fans.
“We have been working hard through training camp, and to get every player on the same page,” said Storm shooting guard and former Mill Rat Greg Plummer, who sank 26 points in Game 1. “It paid off (in the opener), but we still have a lot of work to do.”
The Storm has been idle since the season opener, and the Mill Rats bring a 1-1 (won-lost) record back to Summerside.
A key to the Storm’s victory, assessed both Plummer and head coach Joe Salerno, was defence.
“You can’t expect to get a lead and think your offence is going to shoot you out of every situation, but you can always work hard on defence to protect the lead,” said Plummer. “That is what got us the win. Defensively, we learned how to lock in and just protect the lead.”
Salerno added: “When we really got down and dirty and defended, we were really tough. We are very deep, and we have guys who can guard multiple positions.
“Early in the game we were giving them multiple looks off of offensive rebounds. Once we really started rebounding, pressuring and taking them out of their half-court game was certainly the turning point for us.”
Mill Rats head coach David Cooper is looking for his team to do a better job securing the basketball and reducing the second-shot opportunities the Storm received last week.
“I can think of three or four possessions in the second half we gave up the extra offensive rebound for the extra shot,” said Cooper. “That hurt us a bit and hurt our momentum.
“Offensively, I want to see us execute and get the ball inside a little better. I think we have the personnel to do that.”
After Friday’s game, the Storm will play five straight games on the road, starting in Moncton on Saturday night.
The Storm Express is available to fans in Charlottetown wishing to travel to Summerside. The bus will be leaving from Sherwood BMR before every Storm home game, and returning after the game. Tickets for the bus will be sold in advance at Sherwood BMR, with bus passes $10 and $15 for a bus pass and game ticket. All taxes and fees are included in the price.
The bus will leave on Friday at 5:45 p.m.