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Ottawa BlackJacks to play first official games in St. Catharines as part of CEBL tournament

The Canadian Elite Basketball League is looking to hold a four-week-long event, but the timing of it is subject to the status of the province of Ontario’s phased in reopening.
2019-11-20 Ottawa Blackjacks
Ottawa BlackJacks logo. Photo/ Ottawa BlackJacks

The Ottawa BlackJacks are set to be among the teams travelling to St. Catharines for a round robin and tournament that will end in the crowning of the Canadian Elite Basketball League's (CEBL) 2020 champion.

What's been dubbed the 'Summer Series' is set to start July 25, with training starting on July 15, but league says the timing is subject to the status of the province of Ontario’s phased in reopening.
 
"The Province of Ontario recognizes that sports play an important role in boosting the economy, restoring the vibrancy of our communities, and inspiring people of all ages to be active and healthy," says Mike Morreale, Commissioner and CEO of the CEBL. "Along with Minister Lisa MacLeod, Mayor Walter Sendzik of St. Catharines has shared the CEBL’s vision for the Summer Series and worked with us to facilitate a four-week event that will adhere to medical protocols designed to keep our players, coaches, staff, local public and tournament officials safe."
 
The teams from Ottawa, Hamilton, Guelph, Edmonton, Saskatchewan (Saskatoon), and Fraser Valley (Abbotsford) will join the hometown Niagara River Lions for the opening of each team’s training camp. 

The league explains the Summer Series will work like this: Each club will play the other once, and the team with the worst record will be eliminated and the remaining six will be seeded into a bracket. The third and sixth seeds, and the fourth and fifth seeds, will face each other for the right to advance to the semifinals against the first and second-seeded teams. The CEBL Championship game is scheduled for Sunday, August 9.
 
CBC Sports will offer live streams of all games to audiences across Canada via the free CBC Gem streaming service, cbcsports.ca and the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices. CBC will also provide broadcast coverage of select games, with details to be revealed in the coming weeks. 
 
All seven teams will be accommodated in St. Catharines, playing games at the Meridian Centre, and practicing at a nearby facility.  The CEBL says they will be separated from the general public, and strict screening and COVID-19 protocols will be adhered to under the supervision of medical officials. 




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