Capilano Blues dominate Langara Falcons’ home opener

After being shut down due to the pandemic, PACWEST begins at Langara gymnasium.

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By Graham Abraham

The veteran experience of the Capilano University Blues men’s and women’s basketball teams helped them outlast the Falcons at Langara’s PACWEST home opener last month.

Capilano’s men dominated 107-93 while its women won 72-59 at the Langara gymnasium on Oct. 29.

The games marked the first PACWEST action for the Falcons since the 2019-20 season, before competition was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Men’s stats

Capilano’s men’s team had several players notch prolific scoring numbers, including guards Tyrone Asenoguan with 21 points, Harry Liu with 19 points and Martin Bogajev with 17 points. Guard CJ Campbell played a great two-way game, posting 17 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal.

“They’ve [Capilano] got a lot of older guys, fourth- and fifth-year guys. We’re mostly first and second, and you can just tell,” said Falcons head coach Paul Eberhardt. “It was a difference between their experience, and you could see our nerves kind of got us.”

The Falcons were led by guard Chance Samuel, who sunk 19 points, including a pair of triples; guard Royce Sargaent with 16 points, including seven rebounds and a game-high three assists; and reigning PACWEST rookie of the year, centre Jas Dhudwal, who led the game with four blocks.

Eberhardt praised Langara forward Saleem Ali-Musa for a strong performance. After the game, Ali-Musa felt grateful to be playing despite the result.

“The loss is tough but it feels good to be out there,” the third-year player said. “It’s definitely a blessing.”

Capilano men’s head coach Alex Van Samang was enthused by the energy in the gym.

“Was that not the best Langara crowd in a long time right there, for both the men’s and women’s game?” he said. “This is the best entertainment you can get right now.”

Women’s stats

The Capilano University Blues women’s basketball team overcame Langara’s red-hot guard Jayna Wilson, who scored all 12 of her points from behind the three-point line.

Guard Rachel Labrador paced the Falcons with 14 points. Langara forward Nadia Singh lead the game with three offensive rebounds.

But in the end, the team could not keep up with Capilano, whose guards Jenna Griffin and Cassandra Brinn scored a game-high 17 points apiece, while Blues forward Kate Mallette came off the bench to dominate the boards, grabbing 12 rebounds.

Do-it-all guard/forward Ali Chong, who finished with five points, three assists, two rebounds and a steal stood out to Falcons’ head coach Virginia Watson.

“She really stepped up, did a lot of good things: boxed out, played point guard, rebounded, defended well,” Watson said.

Watson said the team “would have liked a win”, but was pleased with how the young unit, composed of mostly first- and second-year players, performed in their first game of the season.

“In the first half, we had tons of energy and we just couldn’t maintain that energy through the whole game,” Watson said. “Overall, we played really well and I’m pretty happy.”

Capilano head coach Chris Weimer said it was “wonderful” simply to return to league play.

“We’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” he said.

The Falcons will host the Douglas College Royals on Friday, Nov. 5, at the Langara gym.

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