PACWEST Basketball Championships

February 26th, 2017

Watch first round action from the 2017 PACWEST Basketball championships Thursday afternoon at 1pm, when the # 3 seeded VIU Mariners take on the #6 seed Langara Falcons. WATCH LIVE LINK

Then on Friday night our #1 seeded Mariner men will face the winner Thursday match up of  #4 Douglas and #5 Quest at 8pm. WATCH LIVE LINK 

Congratulation to USAMA ZAID, PACWEST Player of the year.

Also 1st team All-Star Sienna Pollard and 2nd team All-Stars Bryson Cox and Jalen Schlegel 

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PACWEST Basketball Championships
By Dan Marshall
Nanaimo News Now 

Last weekend the VIU volleyball teams hosted the PACWEST Provincials and this week the basketball teams are in Provincials as well.

The volleyball squads set the bar high with the women capturing gold and the men taking home silver.

The Mariners men's basketball team has very high expectations going into the tournament, hosted by Quest University, as the number one seed.

VIU's women's team has high hopes as well even though the third seeded women have been battling injuries. Thursday's women's quarter final will see the Mariners take on sixth seeded Langara at 1 p.m. 

Coach Bill McWhinnie says VIU went 2-1 against Langara but the Mariners injuries have whittled the squad down to just seven or eight players for the last three weeks.

"We're going to have to play quite well. They're well coached and they have a lot of talent and they play extremely hard.  We're going to have to match their level of effort and we're going to have to execute," said McWhinnie.

The 10-8 Mariners will be missing some bodies but McWhinnie says he can always count on the versatile Sienna Pollard.

"She's one of the best players in the league if not the country," said McWhinnie. "She's played every position for us this year due to injury and she's excelled at every one of them. She's our focal point and I'm sure she's going to be the focal point of Langara's defense."

The VIU men had a dominant season going 16-2 and earning their way into the semi finals on Friday at 8 p.m..

Coach Matt Kuzminski will be watching Thursday's quarter final between (#4) Douglas College and host (#5) Quest University to see what the Mariners will be up against in their first game.

"We'll watch the game as a team so our guys can get a feel for the atmosphere of the gym and get one last look at the teams before we do play," said Kuzminski.

The Mariners finished with a 3-0 record against both of their potential opponents but Kuzminski says the one advantage for the teams that play Thursday is getting out those early jitters.

VIU's coach doesn't see the pressure of being the favourite getting to his squad, especially with leaders like fifth year players Eric D'Andrea and Kaz Kobayashi.

"We approach it the same way we've done all year where we just talk about the process, we call it a next play mentality. We'll prepare everything for that Friday night game and if we make the gold medal game we'll move on to that one. We try to live in the moment," said Kuzminski.

In 2016 the Mariners won double gold at PACWEST Provincials and the men's team also won the title in 2015. Both basketball teams are hoping to bring home more championship banners to the Nanaimo campus by the end of the weekend.

The scores and schedule of the tournament will be available at pacwestbc.ca.