The Calgary Surge (-175) will host the Edmonton Stingers (+125) in the western conference semi-final tonight at 9:00 p.m. ET/7:00 local at the WinSport Centre, with book teams looking to punch their ticket to Championship Weekend in Vancouver.
The game will be live on TSN and also available for streaming on TSN+, CEBL+ powered by BetVictor, and on the CEBL Mobile app available on iOS and Android devices.
Tonight’s matchup is the fifth and final meeting between the two Alberta rivals this season. Calgary took three of four meetings with the Stingers in the regular season, including both matchups at home. Edmonton got their only win against Calgary back on July 5, an eight-point victory that saw the Stingers outscore the Surge 17-0 on the fast break.
Edmonton, however, comes into tonight’s game riding a two-game win streak
After losing by nearly 20 points to the Surge on July 26, Edmonton beat the Winnipeg Sea Bears to cap off the regular season in Winnipeg. And knocked off the Sea Bears again on the road on Friday night in the play-in round to set up a playoff date with Calgary.
Isiah Osborne led the way for Edmonton with a team-high 24 points and five triples, including the game-winning three ball that sent Winnipeg home. As a team, the Stingers shot better than 50 per cent inside the arch and outscored Winnipeg 50-26 in the paint. Edmonton also had a 32-7 edge on the fast break in the game.
All season, the Stingers have relied on a balanced attack on offence—four players average more than 12 points per game. The team also shares the basketball and have many options of who can step up on any given night. Lucas Williamson, for example, put up a season-high 11 points in his fourth game of the year on Friday night.
Stingers head coach Jordan Baker credited his team’s resiliency after the game to upset the Sea Bears and earn their third victory on the road at the Canada Life Centre.
“We didn’t overreact or get in our own heads,” he said. “We played confident, our style of basketball, and that’s what it takes in those tense moments—to stay composed and rely on what we’ve been doing all year long.” 
Calgary, meanwhile, is riding a four-game win streak. The Surge knocked off the Sea Bears to start their streak back on July 20, and later defeated Edmonton and Saskatchewan twice to cap off their regular season and earn top spot in the western conference.
Offensively, expect the trio of Sean Miller-Moore, Simi Shittu, and Stef Smith to lead the charge.
Miller-Moore averaged over 16 points in 20 games this season, ranking him 10th in the CEBL. Shittu led the league in rebounds per game (10.6) in the regular season, while Smith dished nearly six assists per game, which slotted him at fourth best in the league.
Admon Gilder Jr. also started all 20 games for the Surge in the regular season and put up nearly 10 points per game. He also comes into tonight ranked third on the team in free throw percentage (80 per cent). Shittu is averaging 84.3 per cent from the stripe this season.
The Surge and Stingers boast the two best defences in the league.
Calgary averages a CEBL-best 81.6 points against per game, while Edmonton gives up 83 points per game. The Stingers, though, have an over four point advantage in points scored per game.
In order to advance to Championship Weekend, Stingers will look to neutralize Calgary’s fast break tonight—a crucial factor in their sole win against the Surge this season. In their last meeting, Calgary scored 20 points in transition (compared to 0 in their only loss to Edmonton) and outscored the Stingers by 14 points in the paint.
Off the bench, Calgary’s Terry Henderson Jr. turned into a consistent scoring option towards the end of the season. The North Carolina guard scored 10 points in each of his final three games of the year.
Edmonton will look for another strong performance with Williamson and Meshack Lufile tonight. Lufile, who put up five points and nearly three boards in a primarily reserve role through 13 games this year, had his second best offensive performance of the season (nine points) in the play-in round.
The winner of tonight’s game will earn a spot in Championship Weekend in Vancouver, which is scheduled to start on Friday August 11.