Fri. Sep 22nd, 2023

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The Calgary Surge will be playing for the Canadian Elite Basketball League championship after outlasting the host Vancouver Bandits 77-75 in a Western Conference final thriller on Friday night in Langley, B.C.

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Stefan Smith sunk a winning three-pointer at Langley Events Centre for the favoured Surge, which finished atop the conference standings in their inaugural regular season in Calgary.

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Smith finished the game with 25 points and eight rebounds, while Sean Miller-Moore and Mason Bourcier each scored 15.

Nick Ward led the Bandits’ offence with 21 points, while Alex Campbell chipped in with 18.

The Bandits led 53-51 going into the final quarter and the lead flipped several times down the stretch.

In Sunday’s championship game (5 p.m., TSN), the Surge will face the Scarborough Shooting Stars, who edged the top-ranked Niagara River Lions 74-71 in the Eastern Conference final earlier on Friday.

All-star point guard Cat Barber led the Shooting Stars with 15 points, while Gedi Juozapaitis chipped in with 13 and Isiaha Mike netted 12. Kalif Young had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Jahvon Henry-Blair scored 20 points for the River Lions, while Edward Ekiyor added 15. Tj Lall pulled in eight rebounds.

The River Lions led 20-14 after the first quarter, but the Shooting Stars took a 35-32 lead into the half.

The Shooting Stars also dominated the paint, outscoring the River Lions 44-16 and snagging 20 offensive rebounds.

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