The undefeated Calgary Surge (-110) can extend their win streak to four games to open the season against the winless Vancouver Bandits (-125) at Langley Events Centre on Saturday night at 7 p.m. PT.

The game will be available for streaming on TSN+, CEBL+ powered by BetVictor and on the CEBL Mobile app available on iOS and Android devices.

Vancouver seeks their first win of the season in their home opener after road losses against Winnipeg and Saskatchewan to kick off the 2023 campaign. 

“I expect high energy and high intensity,” Vancouver assistant coach and former CEBL guard Junior Cadougan said. “We're going to feed off the crowd and we're gonna get the season win-streak started.” 

After a five-point loss to Winnipeg in the season opener, the Bandits suffered a 109-85 blowout loss to the Saskatchewan Rattlers in Saskatoon.  Cadougan says the team needs to put the loss in the rearview mirror. 

“We just need to stay positive and focus on the little things, watch the film and get better every day,” Cadougan said. “This is game two. We can't really judge  our whole season on game two, we just got to go back to the groundwork and get better.”

The last time the Surge came to the LEC, they were the Guelph Nighthawks. During last year’s postseason, the Nighthawks came into Vancouver’s homecourt and eliminated them from contention. Giorgi Bezhanishvili tallied 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Nighthawks during that game, but signed with the Bandits in free agency. 

The Georgian big man has been a monster on the glass to start the season, averaging a league-best 13.5 rebounds through two games. That included a franchise-record 18 rebounds against Winnipeg, in addition to double-doubles in each game. 

The frontcourt of Bezhanishvili and 6’9 bruiser Nick Ward has allowed the Bandits to excel on the boards early in the season. Ward sits second in the league in rebounds per game behind Bezhanishvili and Vancouver is atop the CEBL in rebounding with 50 per game. 

Duke alumnus DJ Steward is another central element of Vancouver’s attack. Against the Sea Bears, Steward set a franchise record for points in a season opener with 30. However, Steward struggled in the following game against the Rattlers with 12 points. 

Both the Bandits and the Surge have had a hard time connecting from long range to start the season. Calgary and Vancouver are each in the bottom three among CEBL teams in three-point percentage at under 25 per cent. However, it hasn’t impacted the final results for Calgary. 

In the franchise’s first season after relocating, the Surge have secured three consecutive victories to begin the campaign. Calgary opened the season with back-to-back wins over their Alberta rivals from Edmonton, including a CEBL-record 16-point comeback win in target score time. 

The Surge stayed undefeated with another tight 85-82 win over the Niagara River Lions. Calgary held a big lead in the second half but trailed heading into target time before they locked in defensively and closed out the game with a Trevon Scott putback. 

Calgary has relied on a talented roster that includes Simi Shittu, Admon Gilder, Stefan Smith and Sean Miller-Moore in their early victories. Shittu and Gilder are new additions to the franchise in 2023, while Smith and Miller-Moore return after playing for Guelph last season. 

Shittu, a Canadian big man with NBA G-League experience,  has averaged a double-double at 18.3 points per game and 11 rebounds per game to start the season. Gilder is averaging just over 10 points per game for Calgray, while Miller-Moore and Smith are averaging 16.7 and 14 points respectively. 

The Bandits will continue their home stretch on Tuesday at 11 a.m. in a school-day game at the LEC against the Winnipeg Sea Bears. Meanwhile, the Surge will return home for a matchup with the Ottawa BlackJacks