CYBL Showdown Preview: Let the Playoffs Begin!
The CYBL Bantam divisions’ bracket, seedings and match-ups have all been set and a champion will be named this weekend at Holy Trinity School in Richmond Hill, Ontario.
After a thorough glance over the opening day match-ups, there seems to be only one game that I believe could go either way.
That is the #8 Mississauga Wolverines versus the #9 Ancaster Magic that will take place at 11:30 AM.
The winner will go on to face #1 CIA Bounce in the second round (assuming my prediction that CIA defeats the #16 Peel Monstars is correct).
Both Mississauga and Ancaster have had their ups and downs in the CYBL this year.
The Wolverines down slide was aided by the fact that they lost their most dynamic player in Justus Solmon for a session with a sprained ankle.
But with Solmon back and healthy, the Wolverines have been able to compete hard and come together as a group.
Ancaster has also been inconsistent.
The Magic have gone from a five-game winning streak in the second and third sessions combined, to going winless in all four of their games in the fourth session.
The last time these two squads matched up Mississauga picked up the W with a final score of 60-51.
Second Round Match-Ups?
After the first round, things get very interesting, particularly in the second half of the bracket.
If all goes as planned, as I am predicting, #3 Vaughan will be squaring off against #6 YAAACE and #7 Canada Elite will play #2 Burlington.
In the first match-up, YAAACE will be looking to avenge a 62-58 loss they suffered to Vaughan in session #4.
It will be critical for YAAACE to control the tempo of the game, and limit the size and strength that Vaughan has down low.
On the other side, Vaughan will have to try and shop the sharp shooting of YAAACE and try to turn them over.
Regardless, this is going to be a fun one.
In the other match-up, Canada Elite will hopefully have the services of Cashius McNielly available to them.
McNielly broke his wrist after session #1, and if he does indeed play, he is a huge x-factor in this game.
If Canada Elite is able to rekindle the fire that they had with a healthy squad in session #1, they could be the favourite in this bracket to make it all the way to the finals.
Burlington will definitely have something to say about that, though and if IBSA is able to find their three point shooting stroke, they may be able to jump on Canada Elite early.
On the top half of the bracket #4 Bayan and #5 UPLAY Canada will battle it out in the second round.
UPLAY has shown great improvements in the CYBL’s four sessions and will be looking to play their brand of 3 (three point shooting) and D (defensive) basketball.
Bayan, who shocked everyone with their victory over Burlington earlier in session three, is going to be tough match-up for any team.
Their smothering full court pressure defense always seems to turn the match into a fast moving, up tempo game which is always in their favour.
Bayan will be a real testament to if UPLAY will be disciplined enough to take a couple punches all the while weathering the storm.
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