Panthers looking to knock off defending AUS champs tonight
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The mountain is steep but not insurmountable for the UPEI Panthers men’s basketball team.
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Chase Bowden is back to chase the national title that has eluded him and the Holland College Hurricanes.
The 26-year-old New Glasgow, N.S., native had his first practice with the men’s basketball team on Wednesday. Today he gets a chance to pull on the Hurricanes jersey again when the Hurricanes host the King’s Blue Devils (2-7) at 4 p.m.
“I would like to win at least one national, maybe two because I have two years (of eligibility) left,” the six-foot-four, 205-pound forward said before Wednesday’s practice.
“One or two would be good, especially on the home floor . . . I love playing in that gym.”
The Hurricanes are the host team for the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association championship, March 15-18.
They are 7-0 and have had some lopsided conference wins, but Bowden knows that means nothing in the single-elimination playoffs.
“There’s no second chances at nationals,” he said. “Once you lose once, you’re done.”
Bowden was part of the first Hurricanes team to win an Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association championship in 2013.
That team finished second at the nationals and has been back there ever since. Bowden was part of teams that finished fifth/sixth in his two other trips to nationals.
“I feel like I can fit in nicely,” Bowden said. “They’re really fast. They’re athletic. They really play a tough defence.”
Bowden is the ‘Canes all-time leading scorer, was the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association rookie of the year, a three-time first team conference all-star, a two-time national all-star and an all-Canadian.
“He’s a Swiss Army knife in that he does a little bit of everything,” head coach Josh Whitty said. “He can play multiple positions. With the way we run stuff, I think he fits in really well.”
Bowden, who will be enrolled in the accounting program, has been working at a recording studio in his hometown. He has also been playing in the men’s league in Pictou County to stay in shape. It was where he was playing before joining the Hurricanes in 2012.
“You really can’t say enough about what Chase has done for our program,” Whitty said. “He’s a pretty damn good player.”
The Hurricanes, who also have Michael Kayeye eligible to play in the second half, host the Dal AC Rams (1-6) Sunday at 2 p.m.