Ottawa BlackJacks take on Montréal Alliance in First Sunday Matinee of CEBL Season
Both teams are coming off season-opening wins, as the visiting Ottawa BlackJacks (-129) take on the Montréal Alliance (-105) from the Verdun Auditorium on Sunday, May 28 at 4:00 pm ET. 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.
Taking a look back at their matchups last season, these teams met twice and split the series, both in the regular season. The first went to the Alliance 86-80, followed by the BlackJacks who won convincingly 81-62.
The absence of forward Deng Adel will once again be a factor for this Ottawa team to overcome, as the forward finishes up his overseas commitments with BC Balkan Botevgrad. In the two games between the BlackJacks and Alliance last season, Adel averaged 13.5 points and five rebounds in 34.2 minutes played.
Outside of Adel, the BlackJacks got much of their scoring in those two games through names no longer on the roster. Guard Walt Lemon Jr. averaged 17 points in the matchup while forward Chad Posthumus (now with the Winnipeg Sea Bears) averaged a double-double at 12 points and 16 rebounds.
Expect Kadre Gray to be the person they turn to provide that scoring production. Fresh off a 27-point and nine assist outing against the defending champions, the guard’s going to need more of that effort. As the floor general for Ottawa, Gray’s role this time around will be much different than the last these teams faced off. In his one and only game against Montréal last season on May 31, he came off the bench, putting up nine points and one assist in 15 minutes of action.
Michael Flowers who is Gray’s backcourt partner will also look to carry the load offensively. In their season-opener the guard put up 20 points on 44 per cent shooting from beyond the arch while tallying three assists.
Montréal are in a similar position where new names will have to contribute with only four returning players from their team last season. However, three of the four returnees played in both games against Ottawa in those matchups, so there is some familiarity.
In those games, guard Kemy Ossé averaged 6.5 points and six rebounds for the Alliance while guard Alain Louis (who played for the BlackJacks in 2021) averaged 5.5 points and five assists. Forward Elijah Ifejeh only played in one of the two games between the teams but found success, nonetheless. He put up 15 points and seven rebounds while shooting 67 per cent from the field in less than 20 minutes of play.
A new contributor to look out for on this Alliance squad will be Blake Francis, who stole the show in the team’s 84-69 win against the Niagara River Lions. The guard playing in his second CEBL season, put up a game-high 30 points on an efficient 50 per cent from the field while also grabbing seven rebounds and two steals.
Keep an eye on the rebounding battle throughout this game. In both matchups last season Ottawa out-rebounded Montréal by an average of 7.5, which resulted in them having the edge in second-chance points as well. The interior matchup between BlackJacks’ forward Zena Edosomwan and Alliance’s forward Treveon Graham will be a key factor. Both players are coming off double-digit rebounding games and will be pivotal in securing the ball of the glass for their teams.
All games will also be streamed live internationally on the CEBL’s OTT platform, CEBL+ powered by BetVictor, and on the CEBL Mobile app for iOS and Android devices. Full list of betting props available on BetVictor.
A league created by Canadians for Canadians, the CEBL has the highest percentage of Canadian players of any professional league in the country, with 71 percent of its current rosters being Canadians. Players bring experience from the NBA, NBA G League, top international leagues, the Canadian National team program, and top NCAA programs as well as U SPORTS. The only First Division Professional League Partner of Canada Basketball. The CEBL season runs from May through August. Head to CEBL.ca for more information or follow us (@cebleague) on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn, Facebook & YouTube.