Sports

Basketball M’s begin semester by taking on tough foes

Vancouver Island University Mariners player Jalen Schlegel goes for a lay-up at practice Tuesday night at the VIU gym. The PacWest season resumes this Friday (Jan. 6) in Nanaimo. - GREG SAKAKI / The News Bulletin
Vancouver Island University Mariners player Jalen Schlegel goes for a lay-up at practice Tuesday night at the VIU gym. The PacWest season resumes this Friday (Jan. 6) in Nanaimo.
— image credit: GREG SAKAKI / The News Bulletin

The PacWest’s best teams have gotten a glimpse at their potential, and now they’ll try to reach it.

The Pacific Western Athletic Association season resumes this week with some of the best teams doing battle in the VIU gym.

Vancouver Island University’s men’s basketball squad hosts the Quest Kermodes on Friday (Jan. 6) and then the Langara Falcons on Saturday.

“I think we’re all really excited,” said Matt Kuzminski, VIU coach. “It’s a nice way to come back into league play, getting right back into the routine of things and be really tested on Friday and Saturday.”

The Kermodes are 3-3 but their talented starting five make them dangerous any night. The last time VIU played Quest, Mariners star Usama Zaid scored a school-record 49 points and Kuzminski suggested the Kermodes will do everything it takes this time to try to limit Zaid.

The Falcons are tied for first and edged the M’s in the only previous meeting this season. Kuzminski noted that forward Jalen Schlegel missed that game due to illness and will be an important factor this time around.

Bryson Cox, VIU guard, said his team will take the opponents one game at a time and said the Mariners aren’t paying attention to things like the season series right now.

“It’s not really ‘best of’ anything,” he said. “It’s for us to get better and keep moving forward in the season and try and win every game.”

Kuzminski said he expects games to get tougher this semester.

“I think so. You start seeing teams your second and third times; they know more about you,” he said. “But I’m really hoping and I think that we’ll get better in all areas.”

GAME ON … The M’s men face the Kermodes on Friday at 8 p.m. at the VIU gym following the women’s game at 6 p.m. On Saturday, the M’s women face the Falcons at 1 p.m. with the men’s game at 3 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and alumni, $2 for youths and free for VIU students.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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