Storm expecting tough game from Rainmen tonight

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Island team can clinch NBL of Canada semifinal series in Halifax

The Island Storm has the Halifax Rainmen on the ropes.

It looks to finish them off tonight at 7 p.m. at the Halifax Metro Centre. The Storm leads the best-of-seven National Basketball League of Canada semifinal 3-2.

“I think we’re going to take Halifax’s biggest punch tomorrow night and see how we respond to it,” Storm coach Joe Salerno said Wednesday.

“When a team has their back against the wall like Halifax, where it’s win or go home, they’re going to leave everything out there.”

The Storm took the series lead with a dominating 129-90 victory Monday in Charlottetown. But both games in Halifax have been decided by four points or less.

“I expect it to be a tight game,” Salerno said. “Halifax has played a hell of series. I don’t think you can look at Game 5 as any reflection of what this series has been.”

The Storm had Tuesday off and had a practice at the APM Centre in Cornwall on Wednesday.

Point guard Al Stewart remains out for the Storm, but guard Ashton Graham is expected to be available after missing the past three games with a hyperextended knee.

“I think the guys are starting to get a sense we’re one win away from going back to the NBL finals,” Salerno said. “It’s tough enough getting there once, to get there two years in a row would be quite a feat for us.”

Salerno said the team couldn’t be comfortable knowing a Game 7, if needed, would be played in Charlottetown.

“We want to end it tomorrow,” he said on Wednesday.

“We don’t want a Game 7. We don’t want to put ourselves in that position.

“If the guys want it bad enough, I think we’ll come out with the same energy and intensity and hopefully we’ll come away with a win.”

Game 5 was originally slated for Wednesday but was postponed due to the snowstorm.

Organizations: Halifax Metro Centre, Game 5, APM Centre

Geographic location: Halifax, Charlottetown, Canada Cornwall

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