VIU men tip off hoops season

Vancouver Island University’s men’s basketball team holds its home opener on Friday (Nov. 8) versus the Columbia Bible College Bearcats.

Vancouver Island University Mariners forward Jason Fortin goes for a basket during a PacWest game last season at the VIU gym.

Vancouver Island University Mariners forward Jason Fortin goes for a basket during a PacWest game last season at the VIU gym.

No matter what, opening night will bring a new basketball season, new bleachers and a banner. All the VIU Mariners need to bring is their A game.

Vancouver Island University’s men’s basketball team holds its home opener on Friday (Nov. 8) when it entertains the Columbia Bible College Bearcats in Pacific Western Athletic Association action.

The Mariners tipped off the season last week in Victoria, defeating the Camosun Chargers 77-66.

“I feel like we’re on the right track,” said Jason Fortin, VIU forward. “We still have a long way to go.”

The Mariners know a lot about the journey after last year’s national championship campaign.

“We won last year and it was such a big moment of all our lives,” Jason Fortin said. “And on the other hand, we’ve got a whole new team [this year]. We’ve got to basically be leaders and show them what it took last year to get there. And if we work hard enough, anything’s possible.”

Fortin and guards Brandon Jones and Clayton Billett are core returnees and forwards Jerod Dorby and Seth Goodman and guard Liam Horne are newcomers who will contribute.

Matt Kuzminski, Mariners coach, said his players have set a goal of trying to repeat as national champions.

“We focus more on the process of getting there,” he said. “So we have an end destination, but we have certain things we want to do on a nightly basis.”

GAME ON … The M’s host the Columbia Bible College Bearcats on Friday (Nov. 8) at 8 p.m. at the VIU gymnasium following a 7:45 p.m. banner-raising ceremony. The Mariners will then play the Kwantlen Eagles on Saturday at 3 p.m. at the VIU gym.

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