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National Basketball League of Canada to play first game in Western Canada Nov. 2

The Halifax Hurricanes and London Lightning tangle in an NBL Canada game at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax in this file photo taken last year. The pro game could work in St. John’s if it’s a fan friendly experience.
The Halifax Hurricanes and London Lightning will play a pre-season game at the new Merlis Belsher Place in Saskatoon, Sask., on Friday, Nov. 2., the first NBL of Canada game in Western Canada. - The Chronicle Herald

Fans in Western Canada will get their first taste of National Basketball League of Canada action in Novemvber.

The Merlis Belsher Place in Saskatoon, Sask., will play host to a pre-season game between the reigning league champion London Lightning taking on the Halifax Hurricanes in a repeat of the 2017 championship finals on Friday, Nov. 2.

“It is great to introduce the NBL to Western Canada in this way,” said Mark Lever, league chairman and Halifax Hurricanes owner. “We want to thank Tanya Toporowski, General Manager of the Merlis Belsher Place.”

Saskatchewan MLA Ken Cheveldayoff was on hand for the Sept. 24 announcement, and said he is looking forward to seeing professional basketball in the province.

“Saskatchewan has a growing community of basketball fans, and the popularity of the sport continues to rise,” said Cheveldayoff.  

The Canadian Red Cross is partnering with the league and promoter John Graham to bring the game to Saskatoon.

“Like the previous NHL preseason games and Saskatchewan's first international friendly between Valencia FC and NY Cosmos at Mosaic Stadium, the funds raised at this game will go a long way to support the Red Cross's Imagine No Bullying program,” said Luc Mullinder, manager of corporate partnerships for the Canadian Red Cross.

Tickets go on sale on Saturday, Sept. 29. Prices range from $10 to $55, plus applicable fees.

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