Island Storm to set opening night roster Wednesday

Players have final chance to make their case for spot at Tuesday's exhibition game

Jason Malloy
Published on December 20, 2016

Island Storm forward A.J. Stewart, left, is fouled by Cape Breton Highlanders forward Shaquille Keith Tuesday during National Basketball League of Canada pre-season play at UPEI. Stewart started for the Storm and had 11 points, six rebounds, four blocks and two assists in 18 minutes.

©Jason Malloy/TC Media

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Tough decisions will be made today as the Island Storm cuts the final three players to set its opening night roster.

Head coach and vice-president of player personnel Joe Salerno said they would be difficult, as everybody who is with the team has done what the team has asked.

“It strictly comes down to filling the roles that you want to fill,” Salerno said Tuesday night after the team’s final pre-season game. “That can make it difficult, to tell a guy, ‘you’re just not the guy that we want.’ That’s really hard to do because you want to see all these guys do well.”

The final roster decision is not just based on taking the 12 most talented players. The staff has to weigh positions, imports versus Canadians, size and the salary cap.

“It really is a big jigsaw puzzle,” Salerno said.

The Storm defeated the expansion Cape Breton Highlanders 113-100 in the final contest of the National Basketball League of Canada pre-season. The final score doesn’t really mean anything, but the game provided the coaching staff with an opportunity to find out some things before setting its roster for the regular season, which begins at home on Boxing Day.

“Our top seven, eight guys were pretty tough tonight,” Salerno said. The Storm is “going to be a dangerous team, I think, as long as we defend consistently, which I thought we did for (at least) three quarters tonight.”

Salerno said a couple of the guys, who knew they had to play well, looked nervous early in the game, but improved as the team got some easy baskets in transition.

Forward Dane Miller and centres Dominique Dawson and Sharife Sergeant were released on Monday. Sergeant is from Scarborough, Ont., leaving the Storm with the required number of four Canadians.

Guard Jackson Trapp is still with the Storm. He broke a bone in his foot and could start the season on the injured reserve or be released.

Island Storm power forward Ephrem Davis, right, take a base-line shot during Tuesday's pre-season game with the Cape Breton Highlanders at UPEI.
Jason Malloy/TC Media

Highlight reel

A look at Tuesday’s National Basketball League of Canada pre-season game between the Island Storm and Cape Breton Highlanders at UPEI.


Highlanders – 100

Storm – 113

Top scorers

Highlanders – Shaquille Keith 28 and Glenroy Carr 11.

Storm – Terry Thomas 20, Al Richter 16, Jahii Carson 12, A.J. Stewart 11 and Leon Gibson 11.

Top rebounders

Highlanders – Phillip Rankin, Keith Thomas and Hank Thorns 8.

Storm – Leon Gibson 15 and Terry Thomas 8.

Assist leaders

Highlanders – Morgan Lewis and Jarryn Skeet 4.

Storm – Al Stewart 6.

Field-goal percentage

Highlanders – 37 (34-for-91)

Storm – 43 (43-for-99)

Three-point percentage

Highlanders – 34 (11-for-32)

Storm – 10 (2-for-20)

Free-throw percentage

Highlanders – 62 (21-for-34)

Storm – 57 (25-for-44)

Score by the quarters

Highlanders –      21       17       25       37

Storm –                  23       39       25       26