Falcons happy to make desperation heave at national championship
Hosting from last seed place in CCAA tournament doesn't deter team's hope
Reported by Liam Hill-Allan
Langara’s men’s basketball team is feeling confident, despite the pressures of hosting this year’s national championships as an underdog team.
Langara is hosting the 2019 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Men’s Basketball National Championship at the Langley Events Centre from March 13 to 16. The Langara Falcons entered the tournament ranked last of the eight teams from across Canada.
Langara has not participated in the championship since 2015, when it tied for 5th place with Holland College from Prince Edward Island.
Coach Paul Eberhardt said the lower ranking has actually made the upcoming championship less daunting.
“I think there’s less pressure on us,” Eberhardt said. “The number one seed is supposed to beat us.”
Grant Galbraith, who plays centre for the Falcons, said the team’s lower ranking at the championships could actually provide them with an advantage.
“Teams won’t be expecting us to make as much noise as we plan on making,” Galbraith said. “Maybe they’ll take us more lightly and we’ll be able to surprise some teams and make a run at the championship.”
The team has had a rocky season so far. According to Eberhardt, injuries and player dropouts made for a difficult beginning.
Despite the team’s challenging start and underdog status, Eberhardt said he still has hope of success, though no expectations.
“No number eight seed has ever won the tournament,” Eberhardt said. “So I guess we’d kind of like to be the first.”
Pressure to perform
While a low ranking may take pressure off of players, Langara’s director of athletics and intramurals, Jake McCallum, said that hosting the championships puts pressure on the school.
“You’re hosting and you want to put your best foot forward,” McCallum said. “It’s always nice to get some wins at nationals.”