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The Island Storm looks to advance to the second round of the National Basketball League of Canada playoffs with a win today in Moncton.
The Storm leads the best-of-five quarter-final with the Miracles 2-1. Game time is 2 p.m. at the Moncton Coliseum.
“When you have the chance to close a series out, you have to close it out,” Storm coach Joe Salerno told The Guardian on Saturday. “You never want to put yourself in a must-win game, if you don’t have to. It’s a big game for us tomorrow.”
The Storm won the first two games of the series at home before losing 97-95 Friday in Moncton, despite leading by six to 10 points for most of the game.
“Unfortunately, I think we gave them some confidence,” Salerno said. “I give their crowd credit, it was a very difficult environment to play in last night.”
The Storm is 1-5 in Moncton this season with the only win coming Nov. 17 in the team’s first trip to the Hub City.
Salerno called it an “extremely tough place to play,” and said the Storm wants to avoid giving up big plays that can excite the home crowd.
The Storm will have its full lineup available today with the return of Casey Love, who hasn’t played since the first game on Monday with an ankle injury.
Game 5, if necessary, would be played Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown.
The series winner will advance to the Atlantic Division final and play the winner of the Halifax-Saint John series.
Halifax leads 2-1 and hosts Saint John today at 2 p.m. in Game 4.
Moncton 89 Island 108
Moncton 105 Island 128
Island 95 Moncton 97