SPORTS

Dal men’s basketball looking for third championship

Experience, leadership could boost Tigers this season

Dalhousie Tigers won their last pre-season game against the Acadia Axemen
Dalhousie Tigers won their last pre-season game against the Acadia Axemen on Thursday.   Samantha Calio

Dalhousie University’s men’s basketball team hopes to win a third consecutive Atlantic University Sport championship with experience and leadership.

“I think we have great leadership … we only have one first-year this year and a lot of guys have played a lot of games in this league,” says co-captain Kashrell Lawrence.

Dal faced off against the Acadia Axemen Thursday night, in the last game of the pre-season. Dal won in double overtime, 83-81.

“I’m very optimistic about the upcoming season,” says head coach Rick Plato.

The pre-season looked good for the Tigers, with the team winning 10 of 12 games. They lost to McMaster University by six points and to Brock University by eight.

The team has added three new names to the roster – Alex Carson, Ryall Stroud and Warren Liange. Guard Ryan Harnett returns after playing two years in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association with the University of King’s College.

Key returning players include Sven Stammerberger, the AUS championship all-star last year, and Jordan Aquino-Serjue, AUS rookie of the year for the 2015-16 season.

“Our Achilles heel seems to be free throws and rebounding, so we have to get better at that”, says Plato.

“I think we are a very intense group,” adds Lawrence, “but we are never intense for the full 40 minutes and that’s what’s hurting us, that’s what’s getting us in these close games.”

Going forward it’s not enough right now to meet the goals that we want.”

Dalhousie will host the upcoming 2017 Canadian Interuniversity Sport men’s basketball championship, so the Tigers are guaranteed a spot in the national tournament.

The first game of the regular season is Nov. 4 in Halifax against Cape Breton University.